Since 2011, Step by Step's Grow Appalachia program has helped more than X00 Lincoln and Logan County families grow their own food supply, free of charge!
Bea Sias, Logan County coordinator, gardens with families, individuals, and drug recovery groups.
" The Day Report has three gardens, and people work the gardens to keep their mind in the place it should be till they get well ,,, And this is really helpful to people on fixed incomes. It helps them stretch their checks longer in the winter. They can, they freeze, they pickle, they do everything." - Bea Sias
How does it work and how can I get involved?
It's free! People who participate learn how - in six workshops - to grow healthy plants without using pesticides. They learn about companion planting, succession planting and crop rotation. Start in February, end in October.
Everyone who participates gets a garden tool, seeds, starter plants,
seedling potatoes, organic chicken - litter fertilizer and, if interested,
a grow light. A rototiller is available for borrowing.
People who participate agree to do four things:
> Attend six workshops in spring, summer and fall.
> Submit a soil sample from your garden plot at the first
> Develop a garden plan at the first workshop
> Report the number of pounds of produce they harvested
What are the six workshops?
1. Garden Planning (Feb). Learn and discuss crop rotation, companion planting, succession planting. You draw your plan for your garden plot and fill out a form for the kinds of seeds and starter plants you would like to grow. Bring your soil sample from your garden plot. It will be sent to WVU Extension to be tested for nutrients.(nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium, potassium and PH). WVU will send back a report with advice about what you can do to maximize your soil vitality.
2. Garden Planting (March). We'll talk about ways and reasons to use organic fertilizer. We'll cover planting instructions for different plants. You receive starter plants and organic fertilizer based on garden footage. Seed potatoes will be handed out, as available.
3. Garden Maintenance (May). You'll receive your garden tool. We'll discuss the dangers of pesticides (Sevin is not your friend). Identify common garden pests and how to deal with them, Compare pruning, hoeing, and weeding techniques. Learn when to add fertilizer (soil amendment).
4. Healthy Heart Cooking (TBA). People love this. A seasoned cook shows you how to use garden produce to make delicious, inexpensive food. Foods people have never tried are mixed in with things from garden, with different recipes every year. Info about Type 2 Diabetes is woven into the presentation. Recipes will be available, and, if available, winter vegetable seeds.
5. Food Preservation. (August / Sept). This session is delivered by WVU Extension. We'll discuss the merits of freezing vs. canning vs. drying food, then actually put up some food, usually salsa and cucumbers.
6. Putting Your Garden to Bed / Microgreens. You'll learn how to grow a cover crop to feed your soil over the winter. Through other funds, we can also show people how to grow microgreens during the winter with grow lights.
Oh boy! Who do I contact to be part of this?
> Lincoln County: Marcelle St Germain, /
> Logan County: Bea Sias,
How can I help somebody else afford this?
When you donate $100, you support gardening for a family for a year:
organic fertilizer, seeds, plants, a gardening tool, six gardening workshops and lots of encouragement. On average, Grow Appalachia gardeners produce more than 1,000 pounds of produce per season.
A $50 donation gets us halfway there. And so forth. Small donations add up! You can donate specifically to Grow Appalachia.