Bea Sias, LEAD.
At the beginning of January, 2016 when I started advertising for new Grow Appalachia Gardeners, I explained what the program consisted of and the requirements. We had many new faces attending the very first meeting, in particular one lady whose gardening knowledge grew tremendously.
During the meeting, I went through the process and had all the forms completed. In small towns you hear about people, but I did not know her personally. She had just retired from the bank and was interested in learning to plant a vegetable garden and the fundamentals of gardening, canning and to eat healthy, as she said, in my “older days”.
She told me she didn’t have much space to plant a lot, but she was willing to learn. The only space she could plant was around the fence, in big flower pots and a large tub. I thought she would forget this project, but boy was I wrong. Even though she had never gardened before, knew nothing except what she got from the workshops and Internet, she was more than ready to start the adventure of having her own garden. Her husband was bitterly against a garden, takes up too much time, a lot of hard work, no space, you name it and he had an excuse for not planting a garden.
She never missed not one workshop, and was eager to share how she implemented what she learned from them. She started sending me pictures, which made my heart soar knowing I was the one that was able to plant the seed of knowledge and watch it flourish.
About a month ago or longer, David Cook, my site coordinator and myself went out to visit some gardens. This lady’s garden was one of them, I wanted to impress Mr. Cook with my gardeners, and he was impressed. She planted potatoes in this big tub, and she had produced a lot of them. Her garden wasn’t big, but was very plentiful. She shared with the friends, family, and all the neighbors. She canned beans, tomatoes, green tomatoes, and made pickles. Since she was such a success her husband is on board now and they cannot wait until next garden season. They are learning a trade that they will never forget and are able to keep learning something new each year.