With a successful 2014 growing season in the rearview mirror, Grow Appalachia has begun accepting applications for its 2015 program.
The brainchild of Paul Mitchell founder John Paul Dejoria, Grow Appalachia is managed by Berea College. The Scott County Grow Appalachia program is one of 40 across five states.
According to local program director Lisa Cotton, the purpose of Grow Appalachia is to teach people to grow vegetables and fruit in their back yard, while also instilling better attitudes towards healthy eating and giving local residents a means through which they can sell their produce and farm-made products at farmers markets to supplement their families’ income.
After growing into McCreary County in 2012, the Scott County Grow Appalachia program became the largest program in the system. In 2014, local gardeners produced 53 tons of food from 90 gardens. Seventy-eight of those gardens were family gardens, while 12 were community gardens.
Cotton said that the program’s gardeners shared over eight tons of food in 2014.
The deadline to apply for 2015 is Nov. 14. Applications can be picked up at the Scott Christian Care Center in Oneida or the UT Agriculture Extension Office in the Scott County Office Building in Huntsville.
Families selected for the program will be provided with the resources and support to grow their own garden. Grant-funded soil working equipment can help families till and prepare gardens for planting, while each famly will also receive hand tools, seeds, plants, fertilizers, soil conditioners, canner and educational materials to help them with their gardens. Classes are also available.
The program also offers chicken tractors, bee-keeping assistance and fruit trees.