Bea Sias
Step by Step, Logan, West Virginia

Gardening season is in full bloom, literally speaking. The season started off with rain and cold weather, then when this cleared, gardeners were anxious to get those seeds in the ground. Some did not wait for the ground to get warm. Planting had started only to re-plant the beans and corn.

As a young lady, I can remember the gardens my Father planted. He had huge gardens. He would grow all the things that could be canned or frozen as well as having a cellar for certain items. His work as a coal miner was very hard and exhausting, but after he finished his shift at the mines, he would come home and work in the garden until dark.

In this day and time, it is almost like it used to be. Everyone is wanting to plant a garden even if it is in buckets, raised beds, or whatever they can use, and they work hard at this kind of gardening and it is paying off for them. One thing I noticed about our gardeners they like to plant corn and half-runner beans after their first crop is gone. This gives them extra vegetables to can.

During the months of July and August, there is a lot of canning and freezing and making different kinds of jelly- a busy time for gardeners. I am sure that canning equipment is difficult to find in the stores as well as online.

The gardeners we have are good gardeners. They are completive, with each other and anyone that has a garden. We have one person who has a huge garden. As a young boy, he and his siblings helped his father in the gardens. His father sold a lot of produce, honey, and apple butter. He is following in his father’s footsteps. He does not sell but he gives produce to his elderly neighbors, friends, and church family. They also can and freeze a lot of good food.

Another man that grew up in the same neighborhood that I did, sold seventy dozen ears of corn at $4.00 a dozen in one day. He is a retired miner and was taught by his father how to raise a garden. I asked him when he would have more corn, and he said in ten days. I ordered three dozen.