The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

Sharon Beckmon's garden is on top of the ground 2010.06.16

Written by David Green.

sharon.bags.jpgSharon Beckmon says she isn’t one to dig and flip dirt around anymore, but that’s not stopping her in the garden.

“I can sure cut a hole in a bag and plant,” she said, and that’s just what she’s done, dozens of times over.

Sharon read an article in the March issue of “Mother Earth News” about gardening in bags of topsoil for a quick and easy vegetable plot.

The author suggested the technique as an alternative garden for someone who doesn’t have fertile, well-drained soil, but Sharon saw it as the perfect solution for someone who can’t dig a garden.

The results produce a rather unusual looking garden—certainly unattractive in many people’s eyes—but that’s not how Sharon’s viewing it.

She sees about half a dozen varieties of tomato plants growing inside cages. She sees eggplant, zucchini, kohlrabi, green beans, four varieties of peppers.

“This is just the ticket,” she said. “Anybody can do it.”

Sharon started with a long strip of landscaping cloth to smother the grass and weeds, then placed long rows of 40-pound bags of topsoil on top.

She shopped around for soil and found the best price of $1.19.

According to the author of the article, Barbara Pleasant, any ordinary bagged topsoil should do, but she suggests a mixture with a little gritty soil. Plants will do best in a mixture of organic material and soil, rather than just compost alone.

Each bag is stabbed with a screwdriver or knife a dozen times on the bottom to allow drainage and to give the roots a place to grow.

Then Sharon cut a “window” into the top of each bag, leaving a rim of the plastic to hold the soil in place and retain moisture.

That was it, an instant garden bed complete with good soil and no weeds. Let the planting begin.

Sharon is looking forward to the produce from her labors, but she isn’t quite finished with her bag garden. She still has a few bags in place that haven’t yet been opened and a few more seedlings will go into the ground before it’s too late.

“This is a work in progress,” she said.

Give it a few weeks. Her supply of fresh vegetables is in the bag.

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