Hi everyone! Holly from HQ with her first post in quite a while. Amazing how time flies, eh?

With our fearless leader Candace on vacation galavanting about the western United States, we’ve been helping to keep things running at the mothership, and boy howdy, have things been busy! Writing checks, planning workshops (more on that in a minute), compiling final reports from 2015, gearing up for and making plans for 2016 in general, and essentially everything else in between. A lot of folks receive our information through various avenues, so I thought I would take some time to share a couple of events that are taking place in the next few months, for both GA and non-GA affiliates.

Towards the end of 2015, we began planning a series of workshops sponsored by us, of course, and put on by our soil health/high tunnel constructing/technical duo extraordinaire Mark and Chris, whom we sometimes refer to as “The Boys”.  Our first of the series took place in September, during probably the hottest day of the month, to a small but enthusiastic crowd. The workshop was met with many positive reviews, a plethora of good questions, and even some ideas as to how to run the next one. We held the second in the series in November at the Laurel County African American Heritage Center and were met with more than 30 in attendance! And now, we’ve approached the date of the third of our workshops, taking place THIS Thursday, January 21st, on Berea College’s campus! If you are reading this and you are interested in attending but have not yet signed up, THERE’S STILL TIME! Shoot me an email (holly@growappalachia.org) if you want to register or if you want more information!


From the High Tunnel Production Workshop in November



First workshop!

And now, let’s talk gathering! Site Coordinators and other GA associates: The annual Grow Appalachia All-Hands Gathering is February 25 and 26, 2016, on Berea’s bee-you-tee-ful campus (Ok, I might be a bit biased here, but I don’t think many will disagree with me). We’re still working out the agenda, but it’s going to be a lot of stuff packed into a day and a half, so come ready to learn, collaborate, share ideas, and have fun! The gathering last year was the biggest turn-out of Grow Appalachia folks to date- 70+ were there! Mind you, this was also a couple of weeks before the first 2015 snowpocalypse! We’ve already received the majority of room reservations and RSVPs, but if you have not yet gotten in touch with us, please do so as soon as possible!! It’ll be here before we know it and we just want to keep all our ducks in a row! No, y’all aren’t ducks, by the way.  Anyway…We’ll see you all soon and we’re looking forward to the gathering!


Here’s the crew from last year!

Lastly, and I’m willing to bet that there will probably be a few Grow Appalachia folks there, but myself, Mark, Chris, Candace and David will be attending the annual Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (SSAWG) conference in Lexington later in the month! SSAWG is a great organization, and it is unlikely that we will get this degree of education this close to our backyard in the near future. A few of us from HQ attended a SSAWG event back in November of 2014 so we are greatly looking forward to this conference. I can’t even begin to go into just the sheer number of tracks and courses they’re offering, so if you’re curious and want to take a look for yourself, you can view the conference agenda here. Also…anyone want to join me for lunch at Saul Good that Friday?

To all you Grow Appalachia family members, I’ll see you all soon! And for the rest of you, I hope you are enjoying your MLK Day and staying warm!! Good LORD, is it cold today?!