Maple in the Mountains with Seth Long
On this episode of The Hollercast, we sat down and talked to Seth Long.
Seth Long is the owner of SouthDown Farm in Ermine Kentucky. The farm produces maple syrup from the trees found on the property. Although maple syrup has been harvested in Appalachia for hundreds of years, not many people in the region do it now. Seth is the President of the Kentucky Maple Syrup Association which is made up of farmers from throughout Kentucky who are producing maple syrup.
Seth thinks that this sort of agriculture could become an integral part of the Appalachian economy. He admits that it wouldn’t be a “silver bullet” that would solve all the problems, but he believes it could be one of many “silver BBs” that could help transform the region’s economy. There are millions of maple trees in this region, and only a tiny percentage of them are being tapped to make syrup. Seth says that innovation comes when we learn to use the latent resources that we already have in new and different ways.
On top of owning the farm, Seth is also the Executive Director of HOMES, Inc. HOMES, which stands for Housing Oriented Ministries Established for Service, has built over 243 homes in Whitesburg and the surrounding counties since 1991. The process of building homes has also helped to build community. However, Seth says that houses aren’t all that it takes. Everything from the education that people receive to the food they eat helps shape the community within a region.
Listen to the full episode to hear what else Seth had to say!