Greetings Grow Appalachians! Holly the HQ VISTA here on this first day of spring! Yay!

Yesterday I spent most of the day going through an enormous seed donation (THANK YOU VALERIE!). Many of them are dated from 2011, so I researched, and eventually found, a handy seed viability chart from High Mowing and, consequently, picked through the seeds that would still be viable during this time. These seeds that were deemed viable for 4-5 years, namely pumpkins, tomatoes, cucumbers, and lettuce, were set aside. They are now sitting in the HQ office, nearly overflowing in a box, and they will be donated to our local farmer’s market! Towards the end of this task I came across this packet of carrot seeds.


I was immediately amused, primarily because it made me think of my dad. When we visited Disney World 17 some odd years ago, he was more excited to meet Goofy than I and my siblings were! Anyway, then I got around to thinking about the contents of this nostalgia-inducing package: seeds.

As a biologist by education, and the daughter of a science teacher and gardeners, I have always been fascinated by seeds. By far, what fascinates me the most about seeds is that they are living! I remember my days of working at the college greenhouse my freshman year, remembering fondly (and perhaps with a bit of angst) the hot days spent in the field planting, only to have an abundance of kale, arugula, and lettuces a couple of months later. It’s pretty extraordinary, when you think about it; those little objects you hold in your hand at the beginning of the planting season are alive! Something so small and mundane growing into something big and beautiful and healthy is something I still struggle to wrap my mind around. Last year, Grow Appalachia participants grew more than 600,000 pounds of food. That is a LOT of seeds, y’all! That’s a lot of crazy weather days, labors of love, sweat, blood, probably some tears as well, “beginner’s luck” and practiced hands alike.

When I look at our donation box, I can’t help but imagine all the families that are going to benefit from the food that will come forth from these seeds. That’s what Grow Appalachia is about, essentially: a movement of utilizing homegrown, organically-produced food as a means to improving the economy and well-being of central Appalachia.

How’s that for some good old-fashioned “food for thought”?