I’m Ali Hintz, the new Community Agriculture VISTA at the Hindman Settlement School. I’ll be working this year to expand our Grow Appalachia program as well as the Knott County Farmers Market. I’m writing while sitting on a not-yet-unpacked moving box in my new apartment perched on the cliff over Troublesome Creek. I just moved into town after graduating from the University of Georgia where I studied water and soil resources in the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. Originally, I’m from the Endless Mountains of Northcentral Pennsylvania. Those mountains instilled in me a love of the land that inspires my work here at Hindman.

All my life I’ve loved growing plants, and I was lucky to be able to professionalize my skills at UGA. In addition to taking agriculture classes, I conducted research on sustainable corn production systems involving living mulch and no-till farming. My senior year, I joined the soil judging team and took ninth place at the 2017 Southeast Regional Collegiate Soil Judging Contest. For several years, I have also worked at my family’s business as a writer and social media specialist for Log Cabin Homes Magazine.

In the upcoming year, I hope to use my agriculture and marketing knowledge to expand the Grow Appalachia program and help participants maximize the potential of their gardens. I will be posting monthly updates here but until then, here’s my monthly gardening tip:

Tip of the month: When weeding your garden, prioritize killing weeds that are about to flower or are flowering. That way, they don’t produce seeds, and you have less weeds next year!