Here at Henderson Settlement we have been busy gathering everything our gardeners might need for their gardens. Dusten has been busy plowing gardens and we’ve been helping our gardeners set up their gardening spaces. I’ve been staying busy planning our meeting. On April 6th at our 2nd Grow Appalachia meeting we plan to give out tools to eligible gardeners and plants to all of our gardeners. We’re going to give them seed potatoes, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, onion sets, kohlrabi, and kale. We’re trying to offer our gardeners more plants and seeds this year than what we’ve offered in the past. Our first meeting was overwhelmingly successful. We had a turn out that we never expected! So many new and old faces.

Oh and we have over 30 gardeners! We had only budgeted for 30 but we decided not to turn anyone away and everyone would get plants and only a select few who meet the criteria will receive equipment. We believe that everyone should have access to vegetable plants for their garden and many of our gardeners and only garden if we provide them the plants. No person will be left out of our garden party. haha.

We have one member using our community garden space here at the greenhouse and its her first time ever gardening! We’re beyond excited for her. We have quite a few new, first time gardeners. We feel fortunate that they trust us to help them learn the ins and outs of gardening.

Dusten and I have decided to use our high tunnel to grow a community garden as well! (That’s more of a Henderson Settlement thing but we’re excited so it had to be included)

We’re looking forward to a wildly successful growing season with our gardeners. We have enjoyed getting to know each and every one personally and we can not wait to see (or help) them succeed!

We feel as though we have been blessed to be given the opportunity to work with our community through our Grow Appalachia program. We know our gardeners and community feel blessed to have the opportunity as well. Gardening has always been such a big part of our rural, mountain community and we don’t want to see the people here ever lose that. Gardening and growing their own food makes our participants feel a bit more self sufficient and that’s important in an area like ours where food security is a main concern.

We will be teaching our own classes this year in hopes of a continued, crowded turn out. In years past we have used our local extension offices to teach the classes. Our gardeners have expressed that they don’t like those classes very much and feel as though they’re always the same. We have been studying up to be able to successfully teach our required classes and (hopefully) address any issues that they come across throughout the season.

Our gardeners expressed great excitement when we mentioned learning to preserve their harvest.

I think it’s safe to say that we all feel very blessed, grateful, and excited to start this growing season!

  • “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” -Galatians 6:9


Hagon Blackburn

Greenhouse Manager/Grow Appalachia Coordinator

606-337-3613 Ext. 325