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“This hollow used to produce so much of its food, and people have gotten away from those ways,” says Williams, as she sits in the property’s serene garden, surrounded by edible plants.
One of their main goals is to promote community resiliency in the region, which has been impacted by flooding and pollution and has lost many of its traditional farming practices.After facing constant harassment in big cities for the way she looked and dressed, Williams chose to drive up and down the East Coast doing seasonal work and taking on odd jobs, like picking blueberries in Maine or helping a friend with a construction project.For her, moving to Appalachia was a chance to have a fresh start and a permanent home again. “I wanted to show these people who don’t know me that they could give this land to these trans kids and expect that we would take care of the place.” Since then, the group has learned the history of West Virginia and how the economy has changed Appalachia’s landscape.Williams and her boyfriend, Heron, were living in their car with their two dogs when they heard about the call for proposals. In his free time he plays the fiddle, collects rocks, and classifies different types of moss.
Today he lives with Williams on the farm and enjoys bluegrass music, whittling, and herb farming.p the narrow, winding roads where the Appalachian Mountains cut through West Virginia, the countryside is dotted with squat one-story homes.