Nadine Hicks is a wonderful “woman of a certain age” who has lived on Open Fork in David, KY since she crossed over the ridge at the head of the holler from Magoffin County and married “Mr. Hicks” . Her favorite parts of being a Grow Appalachia participant is coming to the meetings and interacting with the folks there.
I stopped by her house one day this summer to check on her and her wonderful garden. Everything was growing well. Nadine had corn, tomatoes, peppers, squash, zucchini, okra, blueberries, rhubarb, apples, pears sunflowers and grapes. It is a wonderful garden. It was a bit weedy because she hadn’t had a chance to get out in it much because she cares for her autistic great-granddaughter during the week. We told me to be real careful of walking through the garden because she had seen two copperheads the previous week. She had “a boy” coming the following day to run the weed eater so she could see them before they saw her.
Well in the interest of not disturbing nature-especially the venomous kind of nature- we walked around the edges of the garden while she pointed out this and that. She was pleased with the blueberry harvest and was looking forward to a bumper crop of grapes too. As we stood next to one of her grape arbors, I looked up and noticed grapes growing in a tree. “Oh Nadine,” I chirped, “I didn’t know there were grape trees too. That is so cool.” She looked at me like I was from another planet and asked me what I was talking about. I pointed up to the grapes growing in the tree and when she stopped laughing she pointed out that the vines in the tree were firmly attached to the vines in the arbor next to the tree.
In addition to managing the Grow Appalachia project at St. Vincent Mission, I am apparently comic relief too. Here are some wonderful pictures of Nadine’s garden and the grape tree.