Hello Friends,

Greetings from Valerie Horn @ Cowan Community Center in Letcher County.   I hope you are all enjoying the spring weather when it comes your way and not experiencing too much damage from the high winds and heavy rain at times.  The weather continues to be unpredictable and extreme here, but we’ve had some extremely beautiful days too!

March came in like a lion and went out like a lion but we wanted to let you know, what we are, where we are and how we are.  We have one decade in with Grow Appalachia.  It’s been a whirlwind the past ten years and the catalyst of so much good in our community.

We’ve done a lot of growing at Cowan over the years and looking forward to a strong year in 2023.  Happy to share some highlights…..

I’m still processing the James Beard Leadership award.  This is an award that is given to an individual, but I only represent the large community of growers and supporters who have made this area a success.  There are so many and I’m trying to get that together.  I saw Ted Ratliff,  a local grower in the grocery store and he said, “we worked hard for that, didn’t we?”  He was not wrong.  So many worked hard for that recognition.  Hoping it brings special opportunities and attention our way.  I’m also pleased to be in good company and that makes it all the more special.

Kendall Ison greets Governor Andy Beshear

Cowan Community Center was happy to host Governor Andy Beshear to distribute almost 2M in support to our community and sign two bills that will support housing in rural communities impacted by disaster and support for first responders.   Cowan was a recipient and honored to welcome neighbors and partners.

We hosted our 3rd annual Plant and Seed Market at CANE Kitchen on Sunday, April 2nd.  CANE made the event special w/a free soup bean dinner.  We had local music, food distributions along w/plant/seed sales.  It’s a nice time for gardeners to gather, see old friends and meet new.

Excited to expand this partnership with Grow Appalachia, NRPA and Cigna to offer a stronger Jr. Farmers Market and opportunities to grow and learn together.  Kelsey Cloonan will be leading this effort and we look forward to seeing what exciting activities they take on together.  Plans are underway for building raised beds w/the help of Randall Day.

We are excited to see what happens this year with the direction and guidance of Kelsey Cloonan.  Look forward to growing with you.