While the past few months have been challenging for us here at Pine Mountain Settlement School due to COVID 19, and our typical way of operating has been altered in so many ways, we have adapted in order to continue offering valuable services to our farm families.

With the support of Grow Appalachia, we are still sowing seeds, cultivating the ground, and preparing for a bountiful harvest. Not only in terms of fresh fruits and vegetables, but also in terms of the future of our region and people. A spirit of community service is what drove the founders of our School, over a century ago, to carve this place out of the wilderness, and that same spirit is what still drives us today. In good times and in bad we continue the critical work which has been laid before us to do.

Our campus farm, which exists not only to grow food for our visitors and program participants, but to demonstrate sustainable farming practices to our students and community members, has seen a flurry of activity as of late. In fact, this year we have more acreage in production than we have had in more than 25 years. The farm now provides experiential learning opportunities for people of all ages on various activities such as bee keeping, fruit and vegetable production , high tunnel farming, and small scale cattle grass-finishing.

With so many restrictions this spring, our on-site demonstrations have been hampered. Nevertheless, we have taken our community agriculture program truly into the community. Our staff have been busy delivering seeds, transplants, fertilizer, and tools. Also, we have dispatched the School’s tractor and tillers into gardens throughout the service area, helping those who may not otherwise have the tools to work the ground. Again, at Pine Mountain we believe that engaging our community where they live helps us to better understand the real needs of our community, and to cultivate those most important.

As always it is a blessing to partner with Grow Appalachia as we partner with our community members, working side by side to create a brighter future for the Kentucky Mountains.