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Learning About History Through Food

Recently, the Evergreen Community Charter School and The Appalachian Food Storybank collaborated to teach students about geology and the formation of the Appalachian Mountains and how this has shaped the lives, history and culture of the people here.

The students were taught how to conduct formal interviews of local inhabitants to record their stories to be archived at the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources.

Along with collecting stories, the students also experienced lots of hands-on learning to help connect them to the history of the region and to learn where their food comes from.

Students learned everything from how to prepare apple butter to processing their own chickens in hopes of instilling an appreciation of the effort and hard work that goes into preparing food.

The Appalachian Food Storybank has been around since 2011 and while the stories they collect focus on food, the tales they receive from individuals delve much deeper, oftentimes speaking of hardships and socioeconomic topics. Food is an easy entry point into getting people to open up and share their story.

To learn more about the Appalachian Food Storybank, you can visit the website at: http://appalachianfoodstorybank.org/

While the Appalachian Food Storybank is preserving Appalachian history, a group of beekeepers are working to reclaim old coalfields and bring life back to the present landscape.

Numerous parts of Appalachia are riddled with old surface mining areas, many of which have been reclaimed by the mandated planting of trees and other plants. While the landscape may not be suitable for farming, it makes a perfect place for apiarists (beekeepers) to set up above ground hives as the bees will travel two miles in any direction to gather pollen.

Honeybees are a natural and much needed part of agricultural production. With the decline of bees and the lack of reuse for much of this land, many people feel that helping out the honeybee is a great idea.

Learn more about the reclamation here: http://www.appalachiantransition.org/beekeepers-in-ky-and-w-va-want-more-hives-on-surface-mined-land/

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