Tag Archives: herbs

Day 16

4 Aug

Day 16: A picture of someone who inspires you

This is appropriate after yesterday’s post…

This is The Herb Man.  The Herb Man is my hero, and not just because of the hat he likes to wear.  His operation is based just outside of Farmington, MN where he and his wife grow herbs, vegetables, a variety of trees and flowers from seed that they sell off of their property and at local Farmer’s Markets.  Last summer I was searching for Amish Paste tomato plants and my search led me to the Herb Man.  I was invited back into one of the many greenhouses and it was like a jungle paradise.  The greenhouse was packed with little seedlings of all varieties.  While we searched, I got to know a little bit of his history as a grower and instantly became jealous.  He started out with the same dream I have; being able to grow food for his family.  He went on to tell me to be careful when considering greenhouses, as they can be habit forming, and admitted he needed a day job to support his.  Later that summer Eric and I went to him in search of rosemary and sage plants to use in our wedding ceremony and we left with two sprigs from a bay tree that was given to him at his own wedding to symbolize the strength of unity.  The Herb Man inspires me to reach for my goal and remain passionate about growing and paying my respects to Mother Earth.

The Gardenator

29 Apr

Yesterday and today I didn’t go to the gym.  Instead, I spent some serious time in our young garden.  If chopping up sod for 3 and a half hours doesn’t count as a workout, I don’t want to know what does.  That was yesterday.  Our landlord may live to rue the day he suggested we plant a garden and likewise when he gave us the go-ahead to use any part of one side yard as long as we didn’t go into the other yard.  I’m someone who follows the mantra “Go big, or go home.”  When it comes to my garden.  We’re ripping the whole thing up.

This is the fruit of yesterday’s labor.  One 2 foot by 20 foot strip is now planted with purple pole beans, shelling peas, yellow wax beans, sugar snap peas, green beans, and space for Nasturtiums at the right side.  I’m actually quite proud of the trellis system I came up with to pretty up what was once an unused and ugly clothes line.  All the sod in the foreground is where my tomato babies are going.  If you’re wondering why you haven’t seen much of them lately, it’s because they are not taking well to being hostages inside.  Most of them are SO ready to get out into the ground, and some are fading a bit.

Here we see Eric digging.  His method is a little less precise than mine, and doesn’t remove all the sod, but is quicker.  Pretend you are looking at the yard from this perspective:  If you turn to your left, you will see the view above of the peas and beans.  It’s hard work turning over a whole yard’s worth of sod, but it’s extremely satisfying.  Plus, I knew I could get away with another day away from the gym.  With a break for ice cream in the middle of the afternoon, we turned this patch near the house into this:

(From right to left) Two rows of spinach, radishes, romaine lettuce, butter head lettuce, green onions, and chamomile, dill and cilantro in squares at the end.  The next project in store for us is the 20 foot by 20 foot patch for the tomatoes, peppers, basil and possibly a few eggplant if I can jam them in.  I suspect we will combine forces as well as sod-busting styles in order to achieve this goal, since it is a big area.  But we have time, and my tomatoes need to be patient.  In the future these garden plots will be sod-free, but for now I expect to invest every spare moment in my garden, and don’t mind the prospect of having to weed it out, especially armed with my new mini-claw cultivator tool.  Now I’m looking into flower gardening as the next step.  We have a patch of lillies (I think) that I want to thin out and maybe add something else to, but I’m also looking into flowers or groundcovers that might do well underneath our maple tree.

What’s everyone else growing?  Any suggestions on flowers for me would be much appreciated since I’m pretty much only a vegetable gardener and a novice with flowers!