Two weeks ago Melissa Stewart, Agriculture and Natural Resources Specialist at WVSU Extension, presented on Insect and Disease Management, the last of a (free) five-part gardening workshop series at a community center approximately one hour away from Big Ugly.  Over-viewing the garden’s top 10 insects (aphis, thrips, whitefly, flea beetles, leaf miners, cucumber beetles, Mexican bean beetles, stink bugs, stem borers, leaf hoppers) and top 10 diseases (powdery mildew, botrytis, leaf spots, fusarium, early blight, late blight, bacterial wilt, bacterial blights, mosaic virus, damping off) in just two hours can be a bit overwhelming, but we were able to go over the information with our families at an all-participant meeting held last week, and consider it an introduction to our own upcoming workshop, Soil & Pest Management, to be held here June 6.
In the meantime, WVSU Extension is taking on a greater role in gardening projects here at Big Ugly Community Center.  This week we got digging to get an apple tree, a peach tree, 2 grape vines, 3 kiwi plants, 5 blueberry bushes, 6 raspberries and 6 blackberries in the ground for a Small Fruits Garden sponsored by WVSU.  Another apple tree, figs, more blackberries and 10 strawberry plants will be following soon, as will mulching and general site construction.  We are very excited for this edition because in due course WVSU will promote educational and interactive workshops around the fruit garden, which will benefit our Grow Appalachia families and the community at large.