Happy October from Yvonne Scott in Wolfe County. Last Thursday, 10/15/15, was the official ending for our Grow Appalachia group and, as the Program Coordinator this first year and an AmericorpsVISTA whose service year is nearly complete, the event was bittersweet as all endings can be. Several of our families pitched in to help organize and coordinate the food (potlucks are tricky; ‘no, we only want a few desserts’) and decorate.
And what a feast it was! The dishes were representative of what was still growing in the garden. Folks brought cole slaw, fried okra, fried green tomatoes, fresh cherry tomatoes, sweet potato casserole and shuckey beans, which was my first taste of this traditional Appalachian food.

Makin' music!

Makin’ music!

In addition to the amazing food, I put together a slide show loop from photos of the various gardens throughout the year and everyone had a chance to point, laugh, comment, question or wish out loud that I had left THAT photo out! With a gaggle of young folks and some fine local musicians to get us started, we laughed and talked and swapped stories till the end of the evening. Each family received a certificate of participation to remind them that they stuck it out during a very difficult summer and made the best of what they had and used what they learned. Many of our families were already looking forward to next spring in hopes that there will be a second season for Wolfe County Grow Appalachia.
Thank you for this amazing opportunity; I will miss all of these great folks but I know that you’re in good hands to carry on.