I’m your neighbour: Pearl Debassige finds support for her garden projects through work

Pearl Debassige

Anyone who has stopped into United Chiefs and Councils of Manitoulin (UCCM) Castle Building Supply in M’Chigeeng over the past few decades will have likely seen the smiling face of Pearl Debassige, a sales clerk who has worked there for 30 years.

“My ex-husband used to be a carpenter,” she said, explaining how she found her way into the position in the first place.

It’s a natural fit for Ms. Debassige, who likes to spend her downtime with her family going camping, fishing, working in her garden or enjoying other outdoor activities.

She recalled being three years old when she would wander into the garden and help gather food for the family. Ms. Debassige now grows an assortment of foods including cucumbers, tomatoes, sweet peppers, onions and beans.

Working at Castle has been a boon to her passion as she has been able to gather nearly any supplies she may need, from a cultivator to an assortment of seeds.

“It makes me feel good to grow this food and share it to help other people locally,” Ms. Debassige said. 

She does her own canning and gives away a lot of her harvest to family, neighbours and friends. The life-long M’Chigeeng resident particularly enjoys seeing her hard work pay off as the plants shoot from the ground and bear fruit.

It is a blessing to be able to buy all of her supplies locally through the businesses that support workers across Manitoulin, said Ms. Debassige, adding that it feels good to contribute to growing vibrant communities on the Island.

Remember that when you shop locally, you’re supporting your friends and neighbours like Pearl Debassige at UCCM Castle Building Supply in M’Chigeeng.