It’s Grow Appalachia report time and when I talked to Shane Friday evening about his harvest report, which was a good one, he shared that he had 10,000 plants ready to go in the ground NOW. The rain had, stopped, ground had dried up and he was getting ready to plant broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage for a late garden.
Shane had already done much of the hard work and had his plastic mulch down and was installing an irrigation system, but bending over and planting each of those plants was surely a daunting task for one to tackle alone. I had offered our GA Intern, Logan to help, but it still seemed overwhelming.
I had noticed earlier in the week that we had a crew in Whitesburg working on various projects around the KY River, but really wasn’t sure who they were or why they were working here, but figured it was worth talking to them. Remember: Wishing is fine, but asking is faster. Do not be afraid to ask for help. I justify my willingness to ask, by being willing to help if someone asks me.
As it turns out, they were AmeriCorps working for a few weeks in Whitesburg. Drawn from the successful models of the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s and the U.S. military, AmeriCorps NCCC is built on the belief that civic responsibility is an inherent duty of all citizens and that national service programs work effectively with local communities to address pressing needs.
The pressing need of tomorrow was help in getting those plants in the ground. This was more than just helping one person get his crops in the ground, but an effort to continue the momentum that is building in Letcher County and the region to prove to ourselves, each other and any watching, that we can do it. But, it’s always nice to have help.
Nicole, project leader, was so kind, helpful and immediately phoned for permission to help with this task. By dark, they had permission to help Grow Appalachia in supporting Shane who is becoming a leader in developing Agriculture here in Letcher County. We would meet at eight the next morning.
A team of seven arrived at eight and by noon had the job finished. They had planted ten 200 foot long rows with cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower. These crops will continue to support the market, be offered to local schools and will begin to further open the doors for produce sales in our area.
The team had planned to stop at noon, but all agreed to work a little longer and moved into the high tunnel to ready it for another planting. Basically, all they could accept was a thank you.
Again, we are thankful for the kindness of strangers and appreciate those who are willing to give of their time and resources to help a community out. Thank you NCCC for partnering w/Grow Appalachia to get the job done. Thank you Community Farm Alliance for putting me in a position to work with growers and recognize needs.