My name is Michelle Collett-Young and this is my first blog as a Grow Appalachia Coordinator at Red Bird Mission. The counties that I serve are Clay, Leslie and Bell in Southeastern Kentucky. I started working for Grow Appalachia in Clay County two months ago and my life has become so much more wonderful since then. I can honestly say I knew I was going to like this new job but I never knew how much I was going to love it.

I’m originally from Leslie County and at my first Grow Appalachia training I instantly recognized several faces. There were a lot of new ones too, several of which I have quickly become friends with. One young lady in particular that I have developed a friendship with is Meredith Asher. She is a lovely young lady who sadly lost her father not long ago. Meredith has told me how her father Don Brock loved his garden and was a member of Grow Appalachia for many years. Now his daughter is following in his footsteps. He taught her so much but nevertheless she is nervous while caring for her first garden without him. She has planted a variety of vegetables and a plethora of peppers. Her garden is doing very well and happily she is not alone in tending to it.  Meredith and her mother Kathy now tend the garden that her father loved so much. Among the corn, tomatoes and peppers, she and her mother add to the memories that Meredith will treasure for the rest of her life.