Bea Sias, Grow Appalachia Logan County, West Virginia

To say the start of this gardening season has been the same as past seasons, would be an understatement. Let me go back to March 29th at approximately 9:30 am. Buck and I were at the Buffalo Creek Memorial Library in Man, WV giving out seed potatoes, and other items that we had for each person. Of course, we were laughing and talking about gardening as we do most of the time. The Fire Department was located about 1500 ft from where we were working. I heard the sirens and all the trucks getting ready to leave the station, just as I always do, “I said, God whoever or whatever it may be, please watch over them.” Little did I know it was me.

About twenty minutes later a lady came by the library and said, “Bea your house is on fire.” Well, I went wild, jumped in my car to drive home. Buck would not let me, he drove. The closer I got to my house all I could see was black and blue smoke. This was the most heartbreaking scene that I have ever had to endure. But thank God no one was hurt. This house was the first house my late husband and I purchased in 1970. We had a happy home and happy years together making memories with my two children. All we have left are the memories and the family Bible that was on the living room table.

Back to gardening, we have several new gardeners, good people who know how to use a garden hoe. Some are wanting to learn how to garden and some have years of experience to share with the first time gardeners. I believe this will be a good learning year for several, young adults. Most of them have planted potatoes, peas, onions, lettuce, and cabbage Some have planted things that they didn’t tell me so they can get ahead of the game. I have told them to watch out for frost. WV still has a few good frosts to come. These folks are extremely competitive gardeners.

My family is grateful for all the calls, prayers, and well wishes.

* A note from Step by Step Grow Appalachia:
Bea is our wonderful force of nature. Despite this catastrophe, she got her report in on time including a harvest report of 5000 pounds of vegetables that came in late last fall. And she wrote this blog despite her first draft of it having burned up with her house.

When Bea settles into her new apartment we will circulate a wish list of things to help her create her new home. If you’d like to be on that mailing please email us at