Marcelle St. Germain
Step by Step-Big Ugly

After almost a month away, a quick look in the greenhouse told the story that all is well at Big Ugly Grow Appalachia. The seedlings from mid-March have turned into a massive amount of cabbage and broccoli plants thanks to lots of folks who made this happen. First and foremost are two of our Grow Appalachia gardeners here on the creek, Keith and Sherry Loftis. They were there day to day and came on weekends to be sure everything was well watered. Sherry is participating in a program called “55 and Older.” We have benefited by the support from this program from our partner, Southwestern Community Action. It is an effort to help older community members explore job options. We have several participants at our Big Ugly Community Center and their support for the greenhouse was invaluable helping us weather the zig-zag of temperatures during this early growing season.

In addition to the local support from the creek, my Logan partner, Bea Sias (now in her 5th VISTA year) along with her gardener, Buck West was instrumental in getting our fertilizer and potatoes to our gardeners. Bea and Buck were kind enough to do the planting workshop for me as they are gardeners who are extremely knowledgeable. While at the community center they also pitched in with the greenhouse watering and caring for the plants.

Finally, much of the work of transplanting was done by volunteer groups who visited us this spring. Earlham College Bonner program was on site for their spring break and transplanted over 2,000 broccoli and cabbage plants for us. Miner College from Missouri followed and took the time to start transplanting peppers and tomatoes. And finally, a NCCC group was at the center working on a book project. Taking a break from the indoor activity, we brought all the seedling, new cells, and soil to the picnic shelter and had a relaxed time transplanting many hundreds of tomatoes.

Here’s hoping the spring weather stays within a normal range with temperatures and rainfall so that this tiny plants can grow and to maturity.