Learning Garden, Sustainable Growing Practices in Lotts Creek

by Karyn Knecht

15711474882_277254b905_mCFA member Dorothy Feltner moved to Lotts Creek, Kentucky in 2014, located on the borders of Knott and Perry counties. After completing college, Dorothy moved from Michigan to Kentucky as an AmeriCorps VISTA with the Appalachian Coal Country Team. Serving as the Community Development Coordinator for Lotts Creek Community School, Dorothy runs the Grow Appalachia program for Knott and Perry Counties, providing resources and education for at-home gardeners and community gardens in the surrounding communities.

Dorothy has a big dream for her Grow Appalachia program: to create a sustainable
Learning Garden to provide hands-on training in growing methods, like season-extension,
for-market gardening, organic techniques, and soil conservation.

“Lotts Creek Learning Garden will be an important tool for engaging the community and 15711569672_ac0a877c5c_m
a resource for the Grow Appalachia program at Lotts Creek Community School… [it] will be a vessel to share knowledge among the community through hands on learning and leading by example. The learning garden should be a source of inspiration and a place for experimentation. A lot of the sustainable practices, like no-till farming, may sound a bit crazy, but seeing it in action is much more concrete,” she said.

Now working on her Masters in Sustainable Management, Dorothy hopes to turn the
Lotts Creek Learning Garden into a social enterprise with triple-bottom line principles,
operating as a micro-farm business and teaching center for the region.

“From my experience, everyday people have more strength, knowledge, and ability than they give themselves credit for. I’d love to see the Lotts Creek Learning Garden and the Grow Appalachia Program be a catalyst for community resiliency.”

To learn more about services offered by Lotts Creek Community School, contact Dorothy at 606-785-5282.