Hoping to preserve the past, build hope for the future and empower Appalachians to live healthy, productive lives, the Pine Mountain Settlement School Grow Appalachia Program is beginning their fourth year doing community agriculture work.
Sustainability Project Coordinator Maggie Ashmore said each year they have expanded their service area and are now pleased to announce they will be able to work with families in Harlan and Evarts during the upcoming year. In the past, they have worked with families on the north side of Pine Mountain and the Tri-Cities area.
“Through this project we work with families to start new gardens or expand existing ones,” said Ashmore. “We provide garden seeds, hand tools, plants, fertilizer, canning equipment and jars, gardening advice, access to a plow and rototiller and physical assistance in the garden.”
Ashmore said people who participate in the program may grow any vegetable they wish to grow in their garden. She said it is up to the individual as to what they will want to eat from their garden.
“If they want to try something new we’ll help with that,” said Ashmore. “If they have been collecting seeds for generations and want to grow that, it doesn’t matter. We usually ask only that participants, if they can, come to some of the meetings and workshops held during the year. They don’t have to give us any food. The food they grow is theirs to do with what they want.”
Holding monthly workshops, Ashmore said these workshops include things such as garden planning and planting, mushroom growing, healthy cooking, hands-on food preservation where they learn to use pressure cookers, organic garden maintenance, seed swapping, cold weather gardening, chicken care, beginner bee keeping, storing winter vegetables and a rain barrel workshop.
“Our seed swapping workshop will be held on March 16,” said Ashmore. “Last year over 60 people participated bringing seeds they had saved from all over the region. This workshop enables people to trade or buy seeds from one another, passing on heirloom seeds that have been saved through generations. We will also host three local potluck dinners this year.”
For more information or to make an application for the program, you may contact Ashmore or Kathleen at (606) 558-3571 or by email at email@example.com.
Reach Nola Sizemore at 606-573-4510 or at firstname.lastname@example.org