Deep in the hills of Southeastern Kentucky

There was a young man who was quite lucky.

He fell in love and got the gal of his choice

This lovely young lady’s name was Joyce.

Daugh was a soldier in the US Army

And in his uniform, he was quite charming.

They were married in December of ’69

And a little family was not far behind.

Three children filled their happy home

But they would grow up and the world they would roam.

Daugh was now a first sergeant retired.

That is when he and Joyce become inspired.

Parents were needed at the Red Bird dorm

And that’s where inspiration was quickly born.

They took the job and the kids stole their hearts

They watched protectively as the kids gained their smarts.

They took care of many children for 18 years

And when each one graduated they were saddened to tears.

Time marches on and again they retired

Fondly remembering the day they were hired.

Now baking, gardening, and teaching fill their time.

So now I have come to the end of my rhyme.

I  hope you have liked this little change of pace

and the photographs that have filled the wonderful space.

The Sizemores

Daugh Sizemore and his wife Joyce have been members of the Red Bird Community for a long time. Joyce’s family is from Big Laurel, Kentucky in Harlan County.  Daugh’s family has worked the land he currently lives on in War Branch, Kentucky for over 100 years.  Daugh is currently an educator at Red Bird Christian school and is an authority on Appalachian culture and history. He has been a Grow Appalachia member for the 2 years that I have been the coordinator and his knowledge of gardening has been a huge help to me and other members of our group.

This year, to everyone’s delight, his wife Joyce has become a weekly fixture in our community kitchen.  I can’t begin to tell you how hard it is to concentrate on work with the wonderful smells of baked goods wafting through the hallways. Luckily I get to check in on her from time to time to make sure she’s doing ok.  When I do I often get to be the taste tester. Grow Appalachia perks! I love them!!

Joyce’s baked and canned goods have been selling like wildfire since she began. Several items don’t even get to leave the building with her. The staff has been drooling all day and are happy to unburden her from having to carry all that deliciousness out to her SUV. She has brought new customers to our farmers market and that has been such a blessing. Usually, when they buy their pecan pies or other goods, they will pick up a mess of green beans or some other seasonal produce.

So having her baked goods there has been a big boost to the market and that wouldn’t be happening without the Red Bird Valley Kitchen. We now have 4 people who use the kitchen on a regular basis and bring extra income into their homes and in turn, help others in their community to gain more income by association. I’m so excited to watch this program grow and have the chance to meet people like the Sizemores.