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Floyd County Grow Appalachia holds Opening Meeting

Floyd County Grow Appalachia

The Floyd County chapter of Grow Appalachia held its opening meeting on Friday, February 3 on the Prestonsburg campus of Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC).

More than 30 families attended the meeting, which included an orientation to the Grow Appalachia program. Grow Appalachia seeks both to educate communities and to learn from communities and works to preserve the past, build hope for the future, and empower Appalachians to live healthy, productive lives.

“Grow Appalachia is unique because we are building our future through our rich and diverse culture in eastern Kentucky,” said Tammy Ball, who serves as the Floyd County Grow Appalachia coordinator at St. Vincent Mission. “Through sustainable and environmentally friendly gardening, we can both protect our home and provide nutritious food for our families and communities.”

Ball said the Grow Appalachia program aims to preserve and promote the deep agricultural history of eastern Kentucky and use that to promote an ecosystem of healthy and affordable food.

“We face pervasive food insecurities in eastern Kentucky,” she said. “We have the resources and knowledge to grow a brighter future for our families and the communities we call home.”

Through the Grow Appalachia program, Ball can provide seeds, fertilizer, soil amendments and supplies to help participants grow a successful organic garden.

Ball said the Grow Appalachia program’s ecosystem also includes connecting and leveraging existing resources throughout the region.

“We are very lucky to have robust farmer’s markets and great extension services offered in each county by the University of Kentucky,” Ball continued. “Our goal is to connect the dots with all resources for our participants to grow a bountiful garden each year.”

Ball expressed thanks to Big Sandy Community and Technical College, the St. Vincent Mission and the Floyd County Extension Office for their support of the Grow Appalachia program.

“I want to especially thank Keith Hackworth at the Floyd County Extension Office for his support and friendship in this endeavor,” Ball said. “I often tell people that our Extension Offices are the best kept secrets in our community, and it’s my goal to get the secret out there. By working together, we can promote a local food system that will promote wholesome and nutritious eating habits in eastern Kentucky.”

Families can still sign up for the Grow Appalachia program. For more information, contact Ball at (606) 369-2057 or email tammy@stvincentmission.org.

(story provided by Floyd County Grow Appalachia)