I’m Ali Hintz, the new Community Agriculture VISTA here at the Hindman Settlement School. I’m writing while sitting on a not-yet-unpacked moving box in my new apartment perched on the cliff over Troublesome Creek. I just moved into town after graduating from the University of Georgia where I studied water and soil resources in the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. Originally, I’m from the Endless Mountains of Northcentral Pennsylvania. Those mountains instilled in me a love of the land that inspires my work here at Hindman.
All my life I’ve loved growing plants, and I was lucky to be able to professionalize my skills at UGA. In addition to taking agriculture classes, I conducted research on sustainable corn production systems involving living mulch and no-till farming. My senior year, I joined the soil judging team and took ninth place at the 2017 Southeast Regional Collegiate Soil Judging Contest. For several years, I have also worked at my family’s business as a freelance writer and social media specialist for Log Cabin Homes Magazine.
In my free time, I write poetry. My work explores humanity’s relationship with the natural world. I have been published in Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, The Wildhood Project, and Young Ravens Literary Review. I was first introduced to the Hindman Settlement School from my friends in my writing group, the Southern Appalachian Writers Cooperative (SAWC). SAWC told me about the Appalachian Writers Workshop at Hindman. While I was browsing Hindman’s website, I glanced at the jobs page and noticed the posting for the community agriculture position. I knew I had to apply. One month later, here I am, sitting on a box on the top of Kentucky.
In the upcoming year, I hope to use my agriculture and writing skills to expand the Grow Appalachia program and the Knott County Farmers Market. I will be posting monthly updates here, but until then, be sure to check out Hindman’s Grow Appalachia online resources and the Knott County Farmers Market Facebook page. You can also contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on Hindman’s agricultural programming.