Summer Cohenour
LEAD, Logan,WV.

The Grow Appalachia program has been an experience for me like no other. I have met some amazing people and learned some things I will never learn in school. Before working with the program I knew nothing about gardening, now I know the look of different seeds, and I’ve also learned the best times to plant and ways to plant. For example, there are raised beds, high tunnels, and green houses.

Bea Sias- my mentor- is one of the funniest people I’ve ever met. We both enjoy our trips together to the meetings. Recently we took a trip all the way to Alderson. We got lost and had to pull over to call for directions. We got to Alderson at 12 and the meeting wasn’t until 3 so we drove around a little bit but ended up trying to nap in the car. I met some of the other Grow Appalachia Vistas in the old Alderson High School. We all had a very good meeting and everyone seemed surprised of Bea’s success with the number of people she has participating. Even though it was a very tiring trip, we both made the best of it. We have also been to Big Ugly multiple times retrieving plants and visiting on business matters.

I get to work close with all of our gardeners and keep all their files updated. I sort millions of seeds into small bags- which ever size is appropriate- and then from there put all the smaller bags into a bigger bag containing the name of the seed. I have corn and onions in paper bags, potatoes in plastic shopping bags, and all the smaller seeds in plastic bags of different sizes.

I’m very anxious about the outcome of the gardens we’ve helped grow. Most of all, the four community gardens. Although, it’s been bad weather this year I’m hoping we can beat the 19,000 pound achievement Bea accomplished last year. I have loved working with Bea and Grow Appalachia thus far and I’m so excited to continue to explore and distribute with her. It has been an amazing opportunity.