Hello everyone, I hope all is well. My name is Alex Sanders and I am the Grow Appalachia Garden Site Supervisor at Project Worth Outreach located in Menifee County in Northeastern Kentucky. It is getting late in the year and I thought I would share a few of the reasons I love my job. Hope you enjoy this post.


10      2-month reports

This may seem odd to those who do these reports but I really enjoy working with numbers. Even though these reports can be tedious, frustrating or simply a pain in the neck when I complete one I get a satisfaction that is hard to describe. Also, with Candace Mullins help, I have learned so much about Excel and I am looking forward to learning much more.


9      Writing blog posts

When David Cooke told me that one of my responsibilities as a Grow Appalachia Garden Site Supervisor would be writing weekly blog posts I immediately thought I have barely read blog post much less write one. As I look back on my first attempts at writing blog posts I believe I have gotten better at them. I guess repetition makes you better at everything you do. I have begun to enjoy writing blog posts with my major stumbling block being coming up with ideas.


8     Public speaking

When I was in college I had a deep rooted fear of speaking in front of people whether it be fewer that 5 or a large number of people. As part of my responsibilities I have had to me these fears head-on and speak to groups and organizations about Grow Appalachia. Because of my passion for Grow Appalachia Gardening and its potential impact on hunger I have become quiet comfortable speaking in public regardless of the number of people in the audience. Without this program I doubt very seriously I would ever over come my fear of public speaking.


7      Leading workshops

Without conquering my fear of public speaking I would not have been able to lead workshops. This would have prevented me from acquiring knowledge that I needed to do my job. Such as being able to learn from the research that I had to do on gardening planning, planning, garden maintenance, disease control and organic remedies, heart-healthy cooking, heirloom seeds, food preservation, fall gardening, cold weather gardening and off season preparation. Understand, I did not do these workshops by myself but I did organize and schedule all the speakers. One other thing I would have missed out on is the enjoyment of the question and answer session that followed every workshop.


6      Association with Grow Appalachia

One of the best things about being associated with the Grow Appalachia Garden Program is the opportunity to meet and interact with all the good folks in Berea, Kentucky. The personnel at Berea College has been very supportive of our program at Project Worth Outreach. Every time I have telephoned or emailed I have received an immediate response and they have listened to my questions and comments and have responded appropriately. This I appreciate immensely. It is great to work with such professionals. Thank you David, Mark, Candace, Marcus , Jeffrey and anyone else at Grow Appalachia Gardening I may have missed.


5      Eat healthier

Thanks to being part of Grow Appalachia Gardening I have learned to eat healthier. I find myself consuming more fruits and vegetables. I have learned so much about eating organic and the benefits of doing so. About 16 months ago I was forced to take a lot at my lifestyle and the foods I consumed. I had to undergo heart bypass surgery and was informed that I would not only have to quit smoking but I needed to eat healthier. Thanks to family and friends I was showered with information about the benefits of eating healthier. People from the Grow Appalachia family sent me many recipes that were organic garden based and actually very tasty. I also received many tips from the Menifee & Rowan County Extension Offices. Thanks to one and all.


4      Surprise gifts

One of the things I really enjoy about my job are the little things people do. Some examples of this are gardeners giving me vegetables from their garden asking about my health and giving advice and recipes to try, making me dishes from items grown in their garden and just breaking into a smile whenever they see me and start telling me all about their garden These things are priceless. I always try to let them know how much my wife and I appreciate these acts of kindness.


3      Site Visits

I really enjoy going on site visits. Not the part about getting temporally misplaced (lost) but greeting people and talking to them about their garden. Also, I usually get to meet the family members that do not attend meetings even though we make sure that everyone in the household are welcome at all of our meetings. I especially enjoy taking photos of the people and their gardens. I usually try to feature some of these in my blog posts.


2      Meeting people

One of the best things about my job is I get to meet lots of people. It starts with recruiting potential gardeners for our organizational meeting in January. This continues with speaking to groups and organizations. I also get to meet people when the Grow Appalachia Gardening family has get togethers as well as when we have our monthly meetings and when I do site visits. So you see, there are many opportunities to meet lots of people and I try to take advantage of these as time permits.


1      Networking

One of the best perks of my job as a Grow Appalachia Gardening Site Supervisor is being a member of the Grow Appalachia Gardening family. This allows me a support group as well as a network of individuals who I can turn to for help with any gardening question or comment I may have. This gives me much confidence in my work as a Grow Appalachia Gardening Site Supervisor who deals with more than 75 individual gardening families on a daily basis. Thank to all those that have helped me and whose who are willing to help.



I hope everyone has enjoyed this post as much as I have while writing it. I wish everyone luck with their July-August report. Happy Fall gardening.