Marcelle St. Germain,
Step by Step, Big Ugly, West Virginia
Our group of Grow Appalachia gardeners had our last workshop of the year on September 28, 2019. We were delighted to share the produce (beautiful eggplant and peppers) that one of our gardeners brought to the meeting. There was an impromptu discussion of what kind of meals you can fix with eggplant as many gardeners had not prepared it before. When in doubt one gardener remarked, use the spaghetti sauce you canned with the eggplant and it will be a great meal. What a treat for everyone – the baskets were full — enough eggplant and peppers for everyone to fix a meal that evening.
In our workshop, one of our gardeners explained to the group that when cleaning her tools, she still followed the method she had learned during her years as a girl scout. First, she explained a good wash with soap and water to be sure all the dirt was off. Then a dip into a bleach solution to be sure bacteria was killed off. And finally working in some vegetable oil over the surface for protection during the winter. Not very complicated just a matter of taking the time to take care of the tools.
Bea Sias was with us for the last workshop to share some of what her gardeners were successful with this summer. Apparently, green beans topped the list in Logan County. At Big Ugly, our gardeners reported they were very satisfied with their summer harvests even though the very dry summer months took a toll on the late summer harvest especially as we moved into mid/late August. Tomatoes were still coming in but at a vastly reduced rate. Sweet potatoes, on the other hand, did not grow well in such dry conditions.
With the very hot weather through September, most gardeners had not yet harvested potatoes that they are planning to store. After harvesting pumpkins, winter squash, and onions, the last of the potatoes will be stored for the winter. Hopefully, there will be just enough time (and a bit of rain) to allow for the growth of a cover crop this fall.
With gardeners chatting about what next year’s garden might look like, we adjourned for the season grateful for the harvest and looking forward to some great eating from the garden all winter long.