-Bea Sias, LEAD-Logan County Grow Appalachia

Grow Appalachia was highlighted at the third annual recognition dinner held November 14, 2014 by the LEAD (Logan Empowerment and Development) organization.

In just three years LEAD has emerged as one of the most dynamic community groups in Logan County. The range of efforts include support for veterans, a food bank, working with local groups to streamline families’ access to services, establishing a warming center on cold nights and many, many other efforts.

Grow Appalachia VISTA Bea Sias highlighted some of the accomplishments during LEAD (and Logan County’s) first year with the Grow Appalachia program:

“In our program we had 21 Gardeners including Veterans, single moms, low-income families, unemployed miners, and first time Gardeners. Marcelle St. Germain, from Big Ugly Community Center, supplied all of our plants and seeds that we used in the garden. She had over 4000 plants in her Hot House. She has several green thumbs.

The gardeners in Logan didn’t do too badly, we produced over 15,000 pounds of produce in our first year.

We had over eight workshops and we also had guest speakers. One guest speaker from the County Extension Office demonstrated a Pressure cooker, and everyone decided they would like to have one. All that attended all the workshops got a new pressure cooker. Another workshop was for LEAD’s Re-Grand Opening. The gardeners in the program brought some of their canned vegetable to show off, some brought peppers, corn, and other vegetables. Some made delicious dishes with their vegetables.

Next year, all our gardeners will be participating in a Farmers Market If you Bring your vegetables out of your garden and sell them at our Market, you keep the money.

I have chosen two Outstanding Gardeners this year, and that does not mean that everyone isn’t outstanding.

  1. Oral Gene Castle……..Mr Castle had over 91 pecks of Vegetables out of his garden, and he had a huge garden as well.
  2. Mrs. Carlene Mowery Boggs….Had a super Garden as well.”

All gardeners received certificates and were recognized by the over 100 LEAD supporters that attended the dinner. In addition, Step by Step, with whom LEAD has worked on establishing Grow Appalachia in Logan County and on dropout prevention efforts was recognized as LEAD’s organizational partner of the year.