Harvests and Heart Break

Good Evening Y’all! Lori here from McDowell County in Wild Wonderful West Virginia. It doesn’t seem like a month since last time we posted. A lot has been going on since last time.

Everyone has been getting great harvests in the past month, the weather has been wonderful. We have been rolling along with classes and with recruiting participants for next year. We are taking over our little corner of the world and are loving it.

On the 17th of August one of our volunteers and I had gone to Mercer County to meet with our participants. We toured their gardens, brought them the supplies that they needed and spent a few hours talking about garden maintenance and food preservation. We discussed ways of keeping deer out of the gardens without resorting to open season, and provided some liquid fence.  We went armed with water bath canners, jars, and freezer bags, and came back with zucchini and an appreciation for all the hard work our folks were putting in to their gardens.

On the 31st I was invited to hold a meeting for people interested in joining the program next year in Mercer County. Our active participants attended the meeting and told the newcomers about their experiences with the program. The meeting was held at the Assembly of God Church in Princeton. They offered the use of the church kitchen for the food preservation classes for the Mercer County folks and also offered the parking lot for giving out the supplies, provided we are funded for another year. We were also put in touch with the director of adult education at the VoTech in Princeton to discuss the possibility of teaching classes at the school. One gentleman that attended the meeting offered his tractor to help plow any places that needed plowed since there are a lot more interested in joining us.  We got sent home with lots of produce from our participants.

In McDowell County, we seem to be having a great tomato, zucchini, and green bean season since the weather straightened out. We have done canning classes for potatoes and green beans. We did one on tomato and grape juice.  We were blessed with pears and apples so of course we did one on canning pears in syrup, apples in syrup, and apple and pear butter. Next will be tomatoes, tomatoes of all kinds.

Now I would like to talk about a loss that is not only personal but also related to the program. On August 17th after the meeting with our folks in Mercer County, I came home to find my fiancé Scott had passed away from a massive heart attack. Not only was Scott my fiancé, he was also the person that was with the program in McDowell County since the day we met David in Morehead Kentucky at a Mountain Grace conference . He helped me figure out what we needed to get to start the program and get the funding for it. He was part of the support system for the program and participants and he will be desperately missed.

I am including some pictures from a participant that has the straightest rows and the best looking garden that we have seen. I hope you enjoy them as much we did.

Through the fence

Beautiful

Glorious

We could fill up the internet with pictures that we have collected this season. We are so proud of our participants and I myself am proud of our staff and volunteers that help make this program great. Much love to the Grow Appalachia family. Until next time, It’s almost Fall Y’all!

 

About the Author:

We are an outreach ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of West Virginia. We are located in McDowell County in West Virginia, one of the poorest counties in the United States. Some of our programs include the Work Learn Share program that provides free home repair to families in need. We are in our third year as a Reading Camp partner, we have a food pantry, as well as provide clothing, household items and other things as we get them in. We are also one of the only two designated Red Cross shelters in McDowell County.

3 Comments

  1. Kelley Moffat September 18, 2017 at 9:37 am - Reply

    Lori, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I will keep you in my thoughts. Kelley

  2. sue September 19, 2017 at 2:15 pm - Reply

    OH Lori I’m so very sorry to hear about Scott. I always have enjoyed talking with both of you at the All Hands Meetings. I can see his smile as I type in my mind. I know he is a great loss to both you and the program. My thoughts and prayers are sent your way. Sue Granger

  3. Michelle September 19, 2017 at 4:25 pm - Reply

    Lori, I am so sorry to hear this. I know you are hurting and that you will miss him greatly. God bless you and you are in our thoughts and prayers.

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