Hello everyone! My name is Chloe Courtney and I am a graduate student at Marshall University. I am in the Dietetics graduate program, and I am interning with Gina Wood, Heather Cook, and Kandi Messinger. I have had the opportunity to meet many amazing people and see several things our community has to offer in terms of health and nutrition, specifically the FARMacy program and Grow Appalachia garden program! I have loved being able to discuss healthier options with community members, as well as learn different recipes from program participants and WVU Extension Service. Furthermore, I have been inspired seeing everyone’s gardens, as well as the effort everyone puts into the Grow Appalachia program to create the best lives for themselves and their families.

Through interning with WVU Extension, I’ve been able to visit many home and community gardens in Cabell, Lincoln, and Wayne counties. We’ve been able to tour gardens, deliver supplies and plants, and talk with participants both getting to know them and learning how we can help support them through this program. We’ve drove down many hollers, dodging chickens and goats in the road. It has been an adventure each time.

I was able to sit in on the last scheduled workshop in August. I enjoyed listening to participants sharing their successes of the growing season. Many were able to give helpful feedback for the program for the future. It was encouraging to see everyone standing around afterwards continuing to share stories, laughing, and just being there together.

Our next project for this fall is getting cold frames built for participants. Many expressed their desire to continue their growing season into the fall and winter months. We will start building frames next week to help our farmers and home gardeners be prepared for the cold temps getting ready to roll into the area.

I look forward to spending the next couple months with everybody and learning more about our nutrition education programs and home gardens!

By: Chloe Courtney, Intern with Marshall University Dietetics Program