Greetings from Cowan.  This is Valerie, checking in for Kelsey.  There is so much work to do…it takes all of us.

Hope it’s okay if I start with a bit of a story.

My father, Kendall Ison is 81 and has a beautiful 30×30 garden that he manages mainly by himself.  How blessed is that?  I would think it’s pretty accurate to say he’s been working in the garden every year for the past 75 years.  Growing up there was no choice.  His father was a coal miner and they grew what they ate.  He did get ahead of the curve on processed foods as his Mom and Dad had a small country store.   White bread with bologna sandwiches and Lil Debbie cakes are what my Mom first saw in him and fell in love with.  She said she decided in 4th grade she wanted to marry him, be rich and live that life.  No one was ever rich, but she said they did eat a lot of bologna sandwiches and Lil Debbie cakes.  Anyway…back to the garden.  A favorite story he would often tell is the time he was to be planting corn and he got tired of making the long rows, maybe even knew he’d have to hoe them all, so he decided he’d quit a little early and just “bury” the last of the corn seeds.  Lesson learned when all those corn plants sprouted at the end of the row.   Another story about the garden that I remember is that he did not really want to grow a garden as a young family man, but felt he had no choice.  In his time, he felt you would be looked down upon if you did not raise a garden to take care of your family.  So despite not feeling the draw that perhaps he has now to do the garden, he did this as he felt expected and no other choice.  I’ve thought that notion was an interesting perspective and wonder how we reconcile with today’s perception and opportunities to garden.  What do you think?  A responsibility?  A privilege?

Cowan Highlights….

Kids on the Creek & Young Food Leaders are having a great time this summer with many activities to learn more about their food.  Having lots of opportunities at Cowan Community Center, Farmers Market or Local Gardens to learn more about our food system.  A big day at Quillen Farm and all got to pick strawberries and see the new solar power strawberry picking machine.

On this day we also were fortunate to have the Farmer and the Foodie with us to share the experience with.  The next day they got to make a strawberry cake w/the foodie and the strawberries they picked. 

The City of Whitesburg Farmers Market was happy to welcome Sarah Hall, author of Sown in the Stars: Planting by the Signs, and Heather Dent of Winterberry Studios are at City of Whitesburg / Letcher County Farmers’ Market .  Sarah had talked with a few local growers in our community to gain information for her book.  All who talked w/her seemed to enjoy the conversation.  An interesting conversation at dinner today came up about the primary method of planting by the signs here is w/the moon and references to the body.  All agreed when the signs were in the bowels, one needed to pay attention to that for sure.  What do you think?  Does planting by the signs come into your gardening?

Upcoming events happening this week.  Tuesday Table Talk is a good way to keep informed and spend time w/others who love to garden as much as you do.

Growing Home will be shared for registration this week!  This will be a gathering with a strong agriculture focus and also a time for reflection and recovery.  We will be sharing more soon on this event, but hoping many can join us.

Wish you all the best as you do your work.  These summer months can feel like a Class V rapid and we just have to paddle, paddle, paddle.  Come see us….call us….invite us to see you….let’s grow together.