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Pike County begins sustainability project

PIKEVILLE, Ky. — Officials with Sustainable Pike County say they hope a community garden under construction in downtown Pikeville, Ky., is the first of many.

The group’s project aims to mirror the success seen by another sustainability project in Williamson, W.Va.

Williamson City Commissioner Eric Mathis told the Appalachian News-Express (http://bit.ly/12Jhoh5) that Sustainable Williamson, which has partnered with the Pike County group, responds to the need for a diversified sustainable economy though a market-based approach.

Pike County businessman Roger Ford says the garden will offer a multitude of opportunities.

“There are a lot of benefits,” Ford said. “Number 1, it benefits the growers by giving them fresher foods and giving them the chance to sell them to local businesses. No. 2, it benefits businesses by letting them buy locally and save money as transportation costs go up. It also lets them know where the food they serve comes from. And no. 3, it’s safer. All of this food is organic, which is a condition to use this garden. No chemicals or pesticides are allowed.”

In addition, he says it is self-sustainable, requiring little assistance from local governments.

Mathis said a similar effort in Williamson has greatly improved the community.

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