Tuesday, September 28, 2010


HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW? This is Phil. Phil is on my route and I visit his garden every-other week. He is an organic farmer and takes me around to show me just how things are doing when I come to check the traps on his property. He chats to me about the coddling moth that is attacking his apple tree. He tells me of the spider mites that are invading his tomato plants and is discouraged because he did not spray them with some sort of oil when he first saw them. I am always amazed at his garden when I am there.Here he is (he removed his straw hat just for the photo) standing in front of his tomato plants. These plants are over 10 feet tall! Amazing! While I am taking some of the photos, he is telling me that he had to plant the tomatoes twice and that the second planting seems to be doing the best but he is worried about the colder nights that we are having. And, he tells me about how he will eat well this Winter when he begins to harvest some of the vegetables.

This is the beginning of his Winter garden. These are beets that are two weeks old. I know this because I was at his garden two weeks prior and he was just preparing the soil. In just two weeks he has an entire bed popping up and thriving. And he has a really unique way to plant the tiny seeds of carrots and beets. He has devised some sort of grid that allows him to evenly space the seeds. He has been doing this for awhile. It is quite evident. Trial and error is always the best teacher.

These are some sort of Asian bean. You can see how long they are! Phil tells me that if they get too big (and thick) they become tough and are not worth eating. I have never seen this variety. I'm sure there are some of you who could even tell me the name of this bean because you have such wonderful gardens yourselves (Bethany: I am thinking about you as I write this.)

These are the same beans but this shows you how he trellises them so that they are easy to pick and that he still has room to walk on his pathway too. Pretty ingenious, I'd say. I'm not sure I would think that far ahead. Phil makes use of every inch of space and has many successions planted so that when one bed of potatoes is being harvested, another is waiting in the "wings".

This cherry tree was something that Phil was particularly proud of. He made me walk all the way to the other end of his garden just so he could show it to me. I'm glad I obliged. I have NEVER seen a trunk that large on a cherry tree. We planted a cherry tree years ago and it is probably just half that size.

This is one really great benefit to my job: being able to meet new people, to hear their "story", to learn and see and do. I try to be as observant as I possible can when I am out and about daily. If I take the time to slow down a bit, I find that something unique always seems to make itself known to me. And, since I have my camera always at the ready, I can capture them as the day progresses.

How does YOUR garden grow?


  1. i think you have a cool job...i love to hear peoples stories...my garden is getting ready to sleep the long sleep...

  2. Very cool! My garden is booming!!! I hope I can get it all canned before a frost!!!

  3. Those tomato plants are AMAZING. The whole garden is inspiring. I agree with Brian, you have a cool job, getting to talk to people...


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