Let’s boast about the amazing turnout we had at our April Grow Appalachia meeting in Hindman. Over 50 participants showed up, ready to get their hands on plant starts, garden tools, and to sit in on a workshop. Seeing so many people engaging in our program, really expresses that what we are doing here really matters to the folks around us!

Our educational workshop was led by Chad Conway, the Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent from Knott County Extension Office. Chad shared insights on plant maintenance, transplanting, summer crops, and managing disease and insect issues. What made this session truly remarkable was the support exchanged among participants. They shared experiences and offered encouragement, and we saw firsthand how this helped bridge the gap between new and experienced farmers. I often find addressing this knowledge gap to be challenging, but the sharing session felt like the perfect approach.

Following the indoor session, Chad demonstrated how to install and utilize Hortonova on T-posts for growing beans, while I assisted with unloading and handing out the freshly delivered plants. Reese, our community Ag Educator, was on the porch distributing a moon shaped garden hoe, and a seasoned participant was busy measuring and dividing up the Hortonova. It truly takes a village to host a successful workshop, and the efforts of everyone involved truly show the spirit of community and teamwork.

With all the essentials, participants are now well-equipped to kickstart their summer crops. We look forward to our next meeting on May 30th to see the progress our participants have made and celebrate the successes, and failures, of their spring gardens.

Be sure to stay tuned for more updates from our Grow Appalachia program. We’re not just growing gardens and participation, but a stronger, more connected community.