Home Grown: Farming in the Shadow of Coal

Story by Julie Johnson

Many farmers in the coalfields are finding environmental pollution has ruined their irrigation.
“In the coal fields,” said Martin Richards, Economic Development Organizer for Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, “you can have a nice piece of bottom land with great soil, but if there is a mine site, active or inactive, in your watershed, the residual pollution can ruin your field.”

Institutions like Pine Mountain Settlement School in Harlan County, Ky., help mitigate this problem. The school functions as a research center and local outreach service. They provide workshops on stream and water quality testing, and raise test plots that help community members learn to grow according to the rigorous parameters that mountain geography provides.

Visit PineMountainSettlementSchool.com to find out more.

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