Barbara Puckett, owner of the Puckett Family Community Garden in Beattyville, Kentucky in Appalachian Lee County, is on a mission – “As a family, we would like to grow and produce vegetables for families in our community.”
And thanks to the supporters of Americans Helping Americans®, for the past year we have been able to assist her in that mission for her rural community where the poverty rate hovers around 80 percent with grant funding to purchase seedlings, fertilizer, bug spray, garden equipment, fuel for tractors and jars and canning supplies for preservation.
“The elderly and low-income in our community often suffer from a lack of nutrition because they do not have fresh fruit and vegetables,” says Barbara. “They are on a fixed income and often buy cheap food that is not healthy.
“Through our community garden, we focus on them to make sure they have access to healthy food.”
This summer, Barbara and her family members and volunteers have been distributing the produce grown in the community garden through home visits in the local Section 8 low-income communities.
Barbara reported this month that especially considering the heavy rains and cold weather at the start of the growing season, she is having another very productive year.
The harvest so far from “80 hills” of cucumbers has been distributed to more than 100 residents of a local low-income retirement center and a homeless shelter in the county, as were more than 100 heads of lettuce.
And as of early August, “zucchini, sweet corn, and green beans are not yet ready, but are looking healthy” and Barbara is just as eager for harvest time as are the future recipients of the bounty from her garden.
“Our community is small, and people are very appreciative of the things they are given – especially fresh food!”