We are pleased to welcome Ashley Wilder to the Grow App Family here at Pine Mountain Settlement School!!!! Ashley will be assisting with Grow Appalachia reporting, farm visits, and classes!!! Check out her bio below!!

Ashley’s Bio

I am a lifelong resident of Pine Mountain and in my opinion, it is one of the most beautiful places on earth. I have been a neighbor to Pine Mountain Settlement School my entire life, so I have been blessed with the opportunity of using the campus as an extension of my front yard. In 2009, I graduated college from Eastern Kentucky University with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Health Science.  I have been a lover of nature for as long as I have been alive and wanted to give back to the community that I so love. When the opportunity to apply for a job at Pine Mountain Settlement School as an environmental educator arose, I jumped at the opportunity because, well let’s face it who wouldn’t want this beautiful place as their office every day. The job would give me an opportunity to get more involved in my community by helping to pass on the culture and traditions of this wondrous place that I call home.

Growing up a Garden was a very important part of life. We put seeds in the ground starting in February with Peas and continued to plant until May. We would plant everything……peas, corn, beans, tomatoes, potatoes, all types of squash, okra, beets, carrots, zucchini and well you get the picture basically every vegetable possible. We tended the garden daily by pulling weeds, managing bugs, putting up scare crows, even watering our garden as the weather got warmer and drier. When harvest time rolled around the very most important time, the time to get to enjoy the fruits of all our labor, it was my favorite. From breaking beans for canning to scraping corn off the cob for freezing to boiling beets in preparation of skinning and canning. Its Tradition, its lifelong lessons passed down from my parents, and grandparents. Traditions and culture of this area passed on from their parents and grandparents it is a generational education that I will pass on to my children as they grow and learn. I am grateful for the opportunity to work at Pine Mountain Settlement School because I get to work with the Grow Appalachia program and share knowledge of planting, gardening, maintenance, and harvest preparations with my community and my peers. It’s a wonderful program for rural Appalachia communities or any community.