By: Ralph B. Davisrdavis@civitasmedia.com
March 12, 2013
PRESTONSBURG — Appalachians can take greater control of their diets and their finances through small-scale farming, attendees of a conference were told Saturday.
About 100 people gathered at Jenny Wiley State Resort Park for the Growing Appalachia conference, sponsored by Kentuckians for the Commonwealth. The conference provided workshops for growers of all skill levels on subjects such as increasing crop yields, saving money by saving energy, finding and marketing wild edibles and medicinals, and even how to begin gardening.
Local farmer and farmers market manager Todd Howard said small-scale agriculture could play a key role in helping Appalachia toward greater self-sufficience.
“The general basics of what this conference is all about is trying to give folks a way to put a little extra money in their pockets through agriculture as well as renewable energy,” Howard said.
The conference also featured a lunch buffet filled with local produce, as well as a panel discussion on the challenges and rewards of small business ownership, particularly as it relates to agricultural entrepreneurs.
This year marked the fourth annual installment of the conference, which organizers said has grown each succeeding year.