After a summer of gardening and an autumn of preserving, the Hindman Settlement School’s Grow Appalachia participants are ready to celebrate the holidays eating their own organic, home-grown food.

We celebrated the end of a successful growing season with our annual Grow Appalachia holiday potluck. Participants braved the first snow of the year to share a meal with their the community. Homegrown produce was featured in many of the dishes. The butternut squash in the casserole, the tomatoes in the macaroni, and the potatoes in the potato salad all came from participants’ gardens. Our families will continue enjoying the bounty of their gardens throughout the cold Kentucky winter.

Several Grow Appalachia participants attended and taught classes at Dumplins & Dancin’, a weekend-long celebration of Appalachian cuisine at the Hindman Settlement School. This event featured a feast prepared by award-winning Kentucky chefs Ouita Michel of Holly Hill Inn and Kristin Smith of The Wrigley Taproom & Eatery.

Corey Terry, a Grow Appalachia participant and the founder of Artos Bread Company, taught an intensive sourdough bread making workshop. He uses homegrown blueberries and locally milled flour to make his famous bread. Diane Bonifanti Hintz and I taught a pasta making class using the same flour as well as homegrown tomatoes in a marinara sauce.

We sat down for the feast surrounded by friends old and new to celebrate the food and fellowship we’ve grown this year. We savored locally grown foods such as succotash, pork roast, and roasted kale- a perfect ending to a wonderful year.

Happy Holidays!