Families have farmed the hills of the Appalachian Mountains in isolation for generations, solely growing corn and raising hogs. These hills were once covered by deciduous forests which have long been razed to make way for farmland. With each growing season, the corn crops get weaker and less plentiful due to soil degradation and the use of seed from those progressively genetically weak crops. As it is largely a subsistence lifestyle, the children of the families are malnourished, with fresh green vegetables, fruits and milk missing from their diet. At school, the children are taught the state curriculum, the same curriculum taught to children in the cities. Although reading, writing and arithmetic are important, this curriculum provides no real basis for the children to become productive adults in their environment. Issues such as soil management, crop rotation, reforestation techniques, and nutrition should be lessons added to the basic curriculum.
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