Now, this is what Growing Appalachia looks like.  In the not too distant future, this building will house the Magoffin County Farmer’s Market.  What a blessing this will be to our community.

Having enough food to last throughout the winter was a problem for my mom’s family.  Food insecurity was not only a problem for her family, it was a concern for many who lived in rural Appalachia.  Actually, an ample food supply was a concern for most families in America.  

Earlier this year, I watched “King Corn, you are what you eat” in a class in which I was substitute teaching.  I found out while watching this documentary that food insecurity was an issue until the 1970’s.  With the industrialization of corn farming, and the introduction of high fructose corn syrup, food insecurity was less of a problem nationwide.

In the mountains of Appalachia, food insecurity continues to be a problem.  Additionally, the introduction of high fructose corn syrup added another problem to the diet of the citizens of Appalachia.  Foods made with corn syrup are cheaper and easier to purchase.  This has led to a decrease in the overall health of the hardworking families who reside in the eastern mountains.

How will this problem of food insecurity and the prevalence of cheap, unhealthy food be resolved?  Groups like Grow Appalachia are helping to fight that problem by encouraging citizens to grow their own food.  The philosophy of “teach a man fish,” is what drives the solution to the problem.  If someone can be taught to grow their own food, they won’t be as dependent upon others for food security.

The Farmer’s Market pictured will also help fight the battle of food insecurity.  In just a few weeks, this project will be completed.  Grow Appalachia has a part in this project.  Soon, gardeners from the area will be able to sell their produce at this location.  The Farmer’s Market will provide fresh produce for many who are unable to grow it on their own.  Fresh, local grown produce is not the only benefit which the Farmer’s Market provides.  The gardners are also given the opportunity to profit from their labor in growing the tasty delectables.  

Now, this is what I call Growing Appalachia.

The building of this Farmer’s Market has not been an easy process.  As with each project, difficulties arise.  However, food insecurity is a real issue.  Those who saw the need to acquire the grant money understood the reality of the problem.  Therefore, they pressed on.   

The Farmer’s Market is a joint project of many.  Grant money was obtained.  The Farmer’s Market is now taking shape.  Together with the help of Grow Appalachia, the supply chain has grown.  Together, attacking the problem of food insecurity, many are “Growing Appalachia.”