One of the great pleasures of Grow Appalachia is seeing the love of dirt passed from generation to generation. A recent visit to home gardener Sherrie Browning provided the opportunity to chat with her mom Lily Church, camera shy son in law Dustin Smith, and great grandson/grandson and son Josiah. Josiah’s big sister Brook Lynn was at school with her mother Brandi who is a grade school teacher.
Sherrie grew up helping her mom and dad with the family garden and is one of our most knowledgeable and energetic Grow Appalachia participants. She raised baby chicks until several of our gardeners had set up their coops. And she recently organized the distribution of plants from the greenhouse on her side of the mountain when the bridge washout kept Harts area gardeners from making it to the Big Ugly Community Center for a ten day period.
Like many of our gardeners, she was recovering from the recent flash floods. The nearby creek backed up and washed through her garden. The potatoes survived:
But her beans were less lucky and she will need to replant those rows. The are looking forward to harvesting and canning beets and cabbages that are already well along as well as warmer weather crops to come.
The Church-Browning-Smith clan are an example of how families help each other garden across the life cycle. Lilly keeps up her own garden in her 70s, even though she lives only a few hundred yards from Sherrie. Dustin and Brandi have recently bought their first home in an adjacent county and juggle their garden with raising their two children and busy combinations of school and work as, respectively, and EMT and a grade school teacher. But they are back and forth helping each other with tilling and harvesting, canning and child care so that all four generations can walk out their door and pick a fresh tomato, pepper or bean, but share in the larger tasks of putting up crops for the increasingly challenging West Virginia winters.