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Contents:
Program 420

1. garlic growers
2. stagecoach builders
3. writer Jesse Stuart
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Madison County

For more information:
Blue Moon Farm, 3584 Poosey Ridge Road, Richmond, KY 40475, (859) 328-2401

Producer: Charlee Heaton


Garlic Gurus

Blue Moon Farm

On a picturesque farm nestled in a bend of the Kentucky River in Madison County, Jean Pitches and Leo Keene raise garlic. Tending a working farm by themselves means long hours and a solitary existence for most of the year, but that’s exactly how these two East Coast transplants like it. On weekends in the late summer and early fall, they venture out to farmers’ markets, where a group of regular customers waits to buy the pungent wares of the Blue Moon Garlic Farm.

Watch This Story (10:33)




Breckinridge County

Producer: Jerry Barnaby


Community Construction Project

Cloverport stagecoach

In the next segment, Kentucky Life visits an unusual civic construction project: a stagecoach, built by hand by citizens of the small Breckinridge County town of Cloverport.

Watch This Story (5:14)




Greenup County

For more information:
Jesse Stuart Foundation, 1645 Winchester Ave., P.O. Box 669, Ashland, KY 41105, (800) 504-0209
• Jesse Stuart’s short-story collection Come Back to the Farm was the December 2002 selection for bookclub@ket.

Producer: Donna Ross


From W-Hollow to the World

Jesse Stuart

The final segment in this program is a literary pilgrimage: a visit to W-Hollow, the home of one of Kentucky’s most beloved writers, Jesse Stuart.

Jesse Hilton Stuart was born in this small valley in Greenup County in 1906. His parents, Mitchell and Martha, were poor tenant farmers. Uneducated themselves, they nevertheless taught Jesse, his brother, and their three sisters to value learning, and all five graduated from college and went on to be schoolteachers. Stuart’s most famous work, The Thread That Runs So True, is a memoir of his teaching years back in Greenup County.

Starting when he was in college, Stuart also wrote poems, essays, short stories, and novels. Books like Taps for Private Tussie and the poetry collection Kentucky Is My Land, plus more than 500 stories, made him one of America’s most popular writers through the 1940s and ’50s. His tales, deceptively simple on the surface, celebrate both the land he loved and the rock-solid values instilled in him by his family and community.

In 1954, Stuart was named Kentucky poet laureate. He began donating many of his manuscripts and other papers to Murray State University in the 1960s. In 1979, he authorized the establishment of the Jesse Stuart Foundation. One year later, he and his wife, Naomi, donated more than 700 acres of land in W-Hollow to the state as a nature preserve (Kentucky Life made a return visit in Program 1211). The preserve is administered by the foundation, which also publishes reprints of Stuart works and new writing by other Appalachian writers.

Jesse Stuart died in 1984 and is buried in Greenup County’s Plum Grove Cemetery.

Watch This Story (7:47)


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