In the glory of early fall, on the pre-covid afternoon, Sarah L. Hall was introduced to families and farmers around Pine Mountain Settlement School that planted by the signs. And perhaps that is where it all began… Regardless of the true beginnings, what has been compiled over the recent years, is an almanac of our community and Appalachia. Sarah and people scattered in mountain communities have captured a glimpse of the folklore, superstition, and science our growers and gardeners stand by.

“Sarah L. Hall is associate professor of agriculture and natural resources at Berea College. Her scholarly articles on the restoration of native forests and grasslands in Kentucky have been published in a wide range of journals, including Restoration Ecology and New ForestsMeg Wilson, a Berea College alum, is a graduate student in art and art history at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Meg’s photographs have appeared in many publications and collections, including Appalachian ReckoningAppalachian ReviewTime magazine, Oxford American, and Looking at Appalachia. (Sown in the Stars 2022)”

At our 3rd Grow Appalachia meeting, our families came excited to pick up their seed for the year. As they hurried into the Laurel House and sat down, they quickly realized that the meeting was a little different. Sarah Hall traveled down to Pine Mountain Settlement School to share her newly released book, Sown in the Stars, Planting by the Signs. It includes interviews with past and present Grow Appalachia participants, including; Anita Baker Tolliver, Clyde Charles, Jess Clarkson Jr., Abby Turner Walker, Della Shepherd, and Nobe Baker. A lively discussion of planting practices was held, and afterward, Hall held a book signing.

To learn more about Sarah L. Hall’s book, check out the link below.