Cowan Community Center hosted the 14th Annual Cowan Creek Mountain Music School in June. This is an amazing week long camp that had 140 students from across the state, nation and a few from across the pond. The week long camp takes place at Cowan School w/jam sessions in the afternoon at the Cowan Community Center. As Cowan Community Center grows, we are trying to compliment our programs and build on each other.
Our goal is that music school participants leave here feeling full. Full of music, love, laughter and a belly full of good and healthy local foods.
We have hosted a dinner the past two years, but this summer we were more involved. Grow Appalachia participants helped in providing food for the daily lunches, providing fresh produce would be so much easier, if it were held at the end of July, but our growers are trying for an earlier harvest. We’ll get there.
I caught these ladies, relaxing and enjoying events unfold at the Grow Appalachia dinner. They are beautiful, they work so hard and have for decades to keep the music and hope alive at the Cowan Community Center.
We did a tour for the “Kids on the Creek” and visited Grow Appalachia participant, Shane Lucas’ farm. Shane was a wonderful host, letting all the kids harvest from his garden, providing watermelon and the best part was getting to see the new baby pigs. Kids love pigs. The Kids gave back to Shane and sewed a few rows of sunflower seeds. We talked about the fact, most would not be back to see them bloom, but they left something for us to remember their visit by. I can’t wait to drive by and see them waving in the garden.
Chef Cody Montgomery and his wife Lisa were in charge of the annual Grow Appalachia dinner where community, students and Grow Appalachia participants join to share the good food, music and company. Our numbers were much more than anticipated, so thanks to all those who pitched in and made it all work out. Most of the food was locally sourced, beginning with a trip to Todd Howard’s, H&H Farms in Floyd County for broccoli. Cody brought in fresh cuts of meat from the Chop Shop in West Liberty. David Fisher at Railroad Street Mercantile provided cabbage and peppers. Shad Baker with the Letcher County Extension office provided blueberries for a variety of desserts.
We also did a garden tour for the grown ups and visited four of our local gardens for an afternoon activity. Thanks to Logan Dollarhide for sharing his garden. We learned something from him there, when we saw the windows in garden and he explained they were trying to “solarize” their soil. I’m afraid to explain clearly on this post, but he was hoping to improve the conditions of his soil with the help of the sun. Always a great visit at Bobby and Kathy Adams’ garden. They have what I call the old fashioned garden with the 14′ high cane poles and Kathy has every row labeled and knows the story behind every seed. They could and should charge for tours. We visited w/new participant, Chris Caudill. Chris has a new tractor this year and his rows are further apart for easier maintenance. So happy to have Chris involved this year, he and his son are becoming regulars at the Farmers Market. We made a quick stop at the garden at my house. I’d love to say it was mine, but my brother does the work here and makes me look good to those who don’t read this blog and believe I could do it. (I’ll do a blog about his garden and the work he puts into it another time.)
We were also delighted to have State Bee Apiarist, Tammy Horn at our dinner. She did a talk after dinner about what’s happening in KY now with bees and joined in with the music and dancing. To end the night we had an outdoor showing of “Wings of Life.”