Hello! It’s Val at Cowan Creek.
Hoping each of our partner sites are doing well and maintaining self, gardens and markets. It’s a full plate, but good to take time to savor some of the highlights of the summer.
Enjoyed seeing David Cooke when Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders visited the Whitesburg/Letcher County Farmers Market. Their national meeting was in Louisville and about 40 made the trip to EKY to see what is happening w/Agriculture in the Region. Thanks to the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, CFA and others for making that happen. Hoping they recognized the structures in place to support our region. Funders got to speak with local growers Shane Lucas and Dock Frazier about what is needed to scale up.
Also got to see the lovely Candace Mullins at the SOAR conference in Pikeville. Candace always makes me smile and happy. I know she’s smart, tough and capable, but she just makes you feel good. While working the CFA table got to have a good conversation with Sara Eckhouse, Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Agriculture.
Seedtime on the Cumberland was a busy day, starting with Mr. Bill Best. Folks are always happy to be present with Bill in the room and glean some of his knowledge. Participants attending received heirloom seeds. In the local tradition at the end of Bill’s talk, we invited Glenn Brown onto the stage a local seed saver to share his stories. I believe Bill said about 166 years of gardening between them. It was a treat for all to hear their conversation. Sweet potato slips were also passed out during Seedtime. We also had our first market meal, “Feedtime on the Cumberland.” Plenty to learn, but still a success.
The Farmacy program, sponsored by Mountain Comprehensive Health Corporation continues to serve families with diet related health issues each market day. Many families are receiving fresh local fruits and vegetables each week for their families that otherwise might not. Each week I’m awed by this program.
Tanglewood Trail runs by the Farmers Market and folks who make the one mile walk from the housing authority to the market are receiving market money for their efforts. This past Saturday we had 56 walkers to make the trip for fresh fruits/veggies. Thanks to Marshall University for funding for this program.
The Summer Food Service Program continues to do well at the market. This year the program sponsor is Cowan Community Action Group. We continue to serve an average of 80 meals per market day. This year we added the ‘fender blender’ and folks pedal to make their summer smoothie. Thanks to Debbie Owens for making this fun for all. The Summer Feeding Service Program also provided meals at Art Camp and the Cowan Creek Mountain Music School this summer.
Young shoppers at the market. Thanks to a grant with the Letcher County Health Department and Healthy Kentucky, we can offer kids activities and Kids money for shopping at the market.
A great volunteer at the market, Tim just happened to be in the neighborhood and has been showing up each week from start to finish to make it work. How do you thank folks who do this?
I’ll stop on that….and take that question one further….how do we thank folks like John Paul DeJoria and Grow Appalachia?