Grow Appalachia

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The mission of Grow Appalachia is to address the regional problems of diet-related health concerns, the limited availability of high quality fresh produce, and the generational loss of gardening knowledge. In December of 2011, Berea College awarded Scott Christian Care Center a Grow Appalachia grant and it would become one of the 15 Appalachian communities selected from across Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia.

In 2012, Scott Christian Care Center assisted 34 individual gardens and 4 community gardens located at the Justice Center, Boys and Girls Club, Agape Preschool, and the Women’s Shelter. These gardens dotted the landscape of Scott County with far reaching effects on the community as a whole. In December of 2012, the Center’s grant from Grow Appalachia increased allowing the number of gardens to increase to 64 individual gardens and 10 community gardens. Out of the increase, 16 of the 64 individual gardens and 4 of the 10 community are as a result of the Center’s expansion in to McCreary County, KY.

Each year, several families and individuals are selected from Scott and McCreary Counties to participate in the program and are provided with the resources and support to grow their garden. To help families till and prepare gardens for initial spring planting, volunteers use grant funded soil working equipment to accomplish this task. Families and individuals receive hand tools, seeds, plants, organic fertilizers, organic pesticides, canners, and educational materials. Educational programs emphasizing ecosystem friendly, organic, and sustainable techniques are offered to share the most efficient and up-to-date information about gardening, cooking for maximum nutrition, and food preservation techniques. Families and individuals are assisted in marketing their excess produce for supplemental income.


Signing-Up For Grow Appalachia:
Contact us for more information.


Local team leaders:

Lisa Cotton: Director of Scott Christian Care Center


Scott County:

Gary Sexton: Curator of the Museum of Scott County

Sam Kraun: Faculty at the Scott High School

Jeremy West: UT Agriculture Extension Agent


McCreary County:

Doug Stephens: McCreary County Judge Exec.

Andrew Powell: McCreary County Deputy Judge Exec.

Greg Whittis: UK Agriculture Extension Agent