•  
  •  
 

Abstract

The influence of commercialization in Lumpkin County, Georgia, is threatening traditional food production practices. This influence contributes to the dwindling number of heirloom gardeners in the region. The local university’s growth and the town’s proximity to metropolitan Atlanta have created a food society of detached convenience in a town historically rich in cultural foodways. However, the tradition still lives within the old families in this town. Connecting the older, tradition-bearing generations with the university students may supplement their respective resources with enduring social bridges. These bridges will enable a generation of young adults to perpetuate the many benefits of heirloom gardening, both in academia and their communities, addressing a global problem on a local level. Appalachian Teaching Fellows Rosann Kent and Dr. Chris Dockery, professors at the University of North Georgia, developed an arts-based research curriculum for their students that facilitated these social bridges. The project rendered a replicable methodology of engaging an Appalachian community’s social resources in working toward a sustainable future.