Jutta McCormick was helping at the Master Gardeners plant sale on Saturday at the new Extension Office, south of Neosho. It seemed as if everyone came to her with questions about a plant. She always had an answer.
When a strong wind came up, she lead the effort to take the tent down before it fell on someone's head or on a table of plants.
She never stood still.
Born in Germany, Jutta married an American G.I. and traveled the world with him before settling down in Anderson. Although at times, she misses the hum and go of German society, she has come to love life in McDonald County.
Jutta has had a lifetime love of plants, so being a Master Gardener fits her lifestyle. At home, she has a big garden and does a lot of canning. Asked to name her favorite vegetable and flower, Jutta said, "I love the tomato and I like spaghetti squash."
Her favorite flower is an amaryllis. This one does well in the outdoors and puts on a beautiful show. Unlike the amaryllis that blooms only at Christmas, this one blooms in the spring and lasts all year.
As a Master Gardener, Jutta does plenty of volunteer work. There are several gardening projects that she works on in Pineville, and she helps in Morse Park in Neosho. She spends a large of time preparing for the annual Master Gardener plant sale in Neosho.
"I plant many things from seed to get ready for this sale," Jutta says. "And I make all the signs for the sale."
Last year she was president of the Master Gardeners of McDonald and Newton County and before that served two years as vice-president of the group. She enjoys being with her fellow gardeners.
"I love being around people," she said. "And there are some great people in the program."
Jutta also loves to cook, often using her own canned goods for the meal.
"The second Sunday of each month, we have a big dinner at our house. There is always a lot of good German food. That's why we're all fat," she laughed.
Although Jutta loves vegetables, she has fruit trees and preserves everything she can—except for raspberries.
"I had raspberries in Germany and I love them," she admits. "When I pick them, they never make it into the house…I eat them before I can get them inside."
For her love of people, and her love and knowledge of plants, Jutta McCormick is this week's Good Neighbor.