One of the greatest joys of being the Site Coordinator of St. Vincent Mission’s Grow Appalachia Program is actually visiting the participants. During these visits I get to know each of them and their families better. As needed I bring any materials they need to support their food production and storage.  This photo collage will introduce you to one family I have the pleasure of working with through our Grow Appalachia program.

Table top garden

“Big Grandma” (great-grandmother) has had multiple strokes, so a table top garden was built for her with Grow Appalachia funding. It is amazing what she grows in this old table!

She will plant into any container including Peyton’s (her great-grand-daughter) old red wagon.  red wagon garden

When Peyton got too big for her boots she even planted into them.At 5 these boots no longer fit


Peyton loves to ride everyone on their homestead, only the rooster will not let herOn their farm they have a horse, pony, pig and chickens. Peyton loves to ride her pig and pony. The rooster will not let her ride him, so she told me that is why she eats his eggs. She eats two eggs every morning before school. They gifted me with a dozen eggs after a visit; it was mighty hard for Peyton to part with these eggs, but she knows where to get more.

Actually, while I was visiting we collected an egg, and watched as a second was being laid. Life on a   farm is so educational!

Grandma with future GA gardenerPeyton and her Mamaw are standing by their strawberry barrel. Being raised by Big Grandma and Mamaw this little one is learning so many “mountain” values: like the importance of family, hard work and growing food.

a nice freezer full of food from the gardenThis family and their neighbor, also a Grow Appalachia participant, filled their freezers with corn and other food from their gardens; including freezer jam. All the shelves in their kitchens are filled with food they canned for the winter. This it is hard work, but they are proud of their labor and love doing it together. They love their garden, the land, and each other!

Until next time, count your blessings,

your bounty,

and know that you are loved! 

Sister Ann Marie Quinn