By: Angel Hill

On Wednesday, May 27th some of our folks from Lend-A-Hand headed over to Knox Central High School for a garden day coordinated through Ms. Kosowsky (Ms. K.) who teaches freshman biology. Throughout the day we got the opportunity to work with four different classes, helping them to build four raised beds on school grounds.

Hazel was loaded with boards!

Hazel was loaded with boards!

Making the frame.

Making the frame.

Prepping the ground.

Prepping the ground.








They even got the chance to plant some of their favorite vegetables, which they’ll have access to over the summer.  Many students took interest in continuing involvement with the Lend-A-Hand Center Grow Appalachia program this summer as well as engaging with local food systems. We look forward to touching base with them soon and getting them plugged in!




The finished products.

The finished products.


Now also seems like an appropriate time to profile our LAHC Grow Appalachia crew!

John Medlock is starting his first season as a LAHC intern. John grew up in Barbourville and now lives in Corbin. John is excited to get involved with the program and help the community he grew up in. John’s family has gardened and he is looking forward to working on different local foods initiatives in the area.

Angel Hill is also starting her first season with the program. Angel is from Keavy, Kentucky. She graduated from Lynn Camp High School and is currently is a junior at Eastern Kentucky University majoring in environmental studies and minoring in Appalachian studies. Having strong roots in Southeastern Kentucky, she’s really excited to be interning at the Lend-A-Hand center this summer! She’s also very involved with the Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition and her campus environmental group, Green Crew. She loves gardening, being outside, and exploring her home state!

Hannah Bingham is starting her second year as a Lend-A-Hand Center Grow Appalachia intern through the University of Kentucky Appalachian Center. Hannah grew up in the Stinking Creek area where her family before her has lived for generations. She graduated as valedictorian from nearby Barbourville High School and recently completed her sophomore year at the University of Kentucky. She is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science. Upon completion of her Bachelor’s degree, she plans to attend law school. She is excited to be able to return home for the summer and be a part of the Grow Appalachia program at Lend-A-Hand. This opportunity will provide a great learning experience for her to learn gardening and marketing techniques while giving back to her home community at the same time.

Donnie Groves is a LAHC Grow Appalachia participant as well as a member of the crew. Donnie lives up Pigeon Roost on Stinking Creek and has learned a lot about gardening since last year. He is handy with power tools and running Alice the tiller. He lives with Charlotte Howser who is also helping with the program this year. Charlotte is a hard worker who knows a lot about gardening. They are raising their grandson Joseph who also helps sometimes on the crew!

Kathryn Engle is the LAHC Grow Appalachia site coordinator. Kathryn has a Master’s in Appalachian Studies from Appalachian State University. She is currently a doctoral student at UK in the sociology department. She is excited about building on the success of last year’s program. She has enjoyed getting to know people in the community and working with the Knox County Farmers’ Market. She is interested in local food systems in Appalachia and transition conversations going on throughout the region. Kathryn is also looking forward to doing some oral histories in the county to learn more about gardening and agriculture in the area and people’s memories of Lend-A-Hand.

Also at Lend-A-Hand are co-founders and co-directors Irma Gall and Peggy Kemner. Steve Baltic, Rita Loftus, and Karen Johnson also help out at the Center.

Some of the crew after the Knox Central work day.

Some of the crew–Donnie, John, and Angel–after the Knox Central work day.