Fall is finally settling in and we’re looking forward to some rest, as I mentioned last month. The leaves are changing colors, our fall gardens are taking off, and our final harvests are pouring in. The sweet potato crop was a wonderful success for some and a complete failure for others. Some years you soar and some years you sink. Literally, floods and rotting were the complaints I heard.

Buddy Hackworth‘s 600+ slips performed beautifully again this year. He has sandy, high & dry soil on the edge of a creek bed that I always enjoy walking through to visit his garden. Buddy’s family, neighbors and sweet little widow women have been blessed over the years with his bounty of sweet potatoes and the sweet potato butter that he makes. He has the gift of storytelling to his credit too and is always a joy to listen to.


Floyd County Housing Authority Commendation of “Grow Appalachia” 2019

“The 2019 growing season began with enthusiasm in the Floyd County Housing Authority Communities.

Each tenant in the FCHA four sites of service were offered the opportunity to join Grow Appalachia and receive instruction, seeds, plants and hands-on support.  These people were container gardening with some growing additional plants along the sides of their exterior apartment walls.

Most of those who joined have continued through the season. One family at WARCO frequently feeds an elderly neighbor and included the fresh produce they grew.  Another participant, who is battling cancer and lives at the Ivy Creek Townhouses, said she was glad for a reason to be outdoors.  She shared fresh vegetables with her family. A young family with two small sons grew produce for themselves at Left Beaver Creek Townhomes as well. One of the tenants at Creekside Village free tomatoes and more from her wheelchair with some help from neighbors and her son.

There are other successes. Each of which represents seasoned as well as novice growers. Good nutrition, self esteem, friendships and generosity blossomed along with the produce.

We appreciate the partnership with Lori Gearheart and Grow Appalachia. ”   Joyce Mitchell

Christen Justice

Christen and the folks at Faith Farms are doing some amazing things with peppers at their place. They’ve been making Kentucky Candy with peppers of every color and delicious flavor. The flavor is sweet with a delightful kick of spice at the end and tastes amazing on everything from hotdogs to scrambled eggs. They sell at some of the night markets in our area along with their other jams, jellies, and sweet breads. They are the kings of the pepper trade and are quite successful!


Bill & Betty Risner

These folks have several very large hazelnut bushes in their back yard and were able to harvest some of the biggest hazelnuts I’ve ever seen! Each branch was weighed down with clusters of 5 nuts. They just had to get there before the squirrels cleaned them out!

Glenna Robinson

Glenna is starting to harvest produce from her late garden planting and we’re all amazed at her success!  On August 15th, she planted white half runner beans, corn, zucchini, & cucumbers. She harvested and sold over 60 orange and a few white pumpkins along with her fodder shocks. She grew some beautiful cushaws and poblano peppers that were new to her this year too. She had a volunteer tomato plant come up in her beds and they were some of her best producers ever! She finally harvested over 10 lbs. of green tomatoes before the frost could touch them.


At the community garden at St. Vincent Mission, we’ve been able to harvest some unique items this year. We planted a mix of mini pumpkins called Baby Boo, a mix of various mini gourds, and some large apple and snake gourds. We planted 10 different types of garlic in the high tunnel and sold that at the Floyd County Farmers Market. We also planted 20 okra plants that got over 7 feet tall and several celery plants that were interesting to sample in our kitchen. A gardening friend, Tina Hughes, gave us a dozen cayenne pepper plants full of little cayennes. Owen went to work stringing them to dry for later use and had to be very careful not to lick the thread or touch his gloves to his face. Gardening can be fun and present new plants in our neighborhoods!

Look, everyone gets a pumpkin on their desk!!!

Owen stringing some tiny Thai peppers that a friend (Tina) gave to us.

Greg has been my right hand man all summer in the high tunnel and community garden at St. Vincent Mission. Look how tall those okra are!!


We don’t always have wonderful gardening years, but when we do we thank the good Lord above for His bounty and share with our neighbors and friends.  In the words of Robert Frost in Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, I have “miles to go before I sleep and miles to go before I sleep”