–Emily Barrineau, AmeriCorps member at High Rocks, Hillsboro WV
Hello! My name is Emily Barrineau and I am the latest Grow Appalachia Americorps Member at High Rocks Educational Corporation. I am originally from Central Illinois but I am excited to be spending the next year in West Virginia!
I got interested in gardening when I studied abroad in India in 2013. Our group stayed at Navdanya, a biodiversity farm and seed bank located in Derhadun. During our stay, we learned how important it is to be less reliant on conventionally grown food because it is healthier for us and Mother Nature too! An awesome way to do that is to grow your own food.
After my amazing experience I learned that I wanted to help others find passion in growing their own food and show them how they can do it. And that’s what brings me to West Virginia. I believe that it is important for everyone to have access to fresh and nutritional food. But in some areas in West Virginia families have limited access to this food. One of my goals this year is help families grow their own nutritional food.
The first few weeks have been exciting because I have been being able to meet with the Grow Appalachia participants at the workshops. I’ve also been helping another Americorps member get the garden beds ready so that we can plant garlic for High Rocks’ garlic fundraiser that takes place at the Autumn Harvest Festival. We’ve spread out the horse manure onto the beds and tilled them. Now we are just waiting for college kids on their fall break to help us plant.

I am looking forward to my year with Grow Appalachia and seeing the progress of the family and community gardens!