As the main growing season starts to wind down, we at Appalachian Sustainable Development are keeping busy! We have been doing site visits whenever time allows and talking to some amazing gardeners. We are also working on our plan to grow the Grow Your Own program for next year!

We recently hosted a “Tomatoes and Tunes” event. We used tomatoes from our demonstration garden to show the difference in taste among varieties. People brought instruments and had a jam session right there in the garden. It was a really fun way to introduce some gardening basics and get people involved.
We also went to TriPride this past month! TriPride was an exciting event with over 13,000 attendees. We talked to a lot of people about our work in sustainability and helped some kids plant seeds in their personally decorated pots. We are working hard to reach audiences that are on the margins of agriculture in the region. This was a great way to connect and get the word out about our programs!

As a fairly new member of the SWVA/NETN community, these events are really empowering. Everyone loves to plant seeds in their own little pot to take home, and I meet amazing people every time we have events. It really goes to show that connecting with people is the way to go.


All of my site visits in August have been amazing! Our growers are still going strong and getting great harvests from their gardens. I spoke with Stephanie, a backyard gardener, who is planting some brassicas for the fall. She and her dogs have taken great care of her garden! I also spoke with Donnamarie, an experienced gardener. This year, we tilled a circle garden for her (she wanted to experiment!) and she has gotten tons of delicious tomatoes, basil, squash, and more from this new garden. Finally, I visited Trevor’s Red-Tail Farm; he is a veteran, a participant in our program, AND on our board! He has forged partnerships with other local farms to grow flowers for their bouquet sales, sells his produce at market, and practices rotational grazing with his sheep, goats and chickens. This guy can do it all!


As the season starts to wind down, I’m curious to see how long we can get harvests. I’ve heard rumors we can get harvests into December… fingers crossed that’s what this season will bring!

As always, thank you, Grow Appalachia, for all you do and the amazing work you fund. You continue to spread great agricultural practices, food access, hope, and happiness throughout the region.