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Posts Tagged ‘home gardeners’

My grandpa, Bruce Dominick, was an avid gardener. My grandparents moved to my hometown when I was a little kid, and my grandpa would drive out to our cattle & hog farm nearly every day to help out. As I recall, he kind of took over the vegetable garden plot, which no one minded at all. Grandpa Bruce’s family farm near Pierz, Minnesota, was a dairy farm, but they also raised raspberries, and my mom says that my Grandpa would drive to Minneapolis at 4 am to sell the berries.  I remember that whenever we had a bumper crop of some vegetable or berry in the garden, he would talk proudly about how we really should sell some of our bounty in town. He was an excellent salesman, so I wish he was around to sell my wares today.

This Memorial Day, while Elden sided our walk-in cooler shed at the farm, my parents and I were finally able to plant our potatoes. I know we were all thinking of Grandpa Bruce for several reasons. He was so proud of his part in organizing the flag display in my hometown, and the last photo we have of him was with my grandma Trudy and the flags on Memorial Day, 1989. He died a few days later, leaving us with not only our memories, but also 480 hills of potatoes he had planted in our family garden that spring. We planted 5 or 6 times as many seed potatoes on Monday, but that was for 55 CSA shares! I know Grandpa would have been excited if he was with us, even if it wasn’t as ambitious a planting as he would have undertaken.

When I asked Elden to take some photos of the potato planting on Monday, he responded that you should never take marketing photos on cloudy days, but who has time on a farm on a sunny day during a wet spring?! Most of these snapshots I took with my cell phone, so you can blame me for the poor quality. Our seasonal creek is running and bubbling in the woods, or at least it was the day I took a stroll to check it. The first snap peas are up in the field, and in the greenhouse, a volunteer pea plant sprouted in the soil this spring. I potted it up, just for fun, and found it trying to climb a neighboring tomato plant the other day. I’ll have to find it a better home somewhere; now that I’ve encouraged it, I feel responsible to keep it going.

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It looks like it might rain on Saturday, which would be too bad for those of us hoping to work outside, but good for anyone who feels like attending a workshop indoors. Speaking of, UMD’s Sustainable Agriculture ProjectOffice of Sustainability, and Sociology & Anthropology Department are co-sponsoring what looks like a very interesting Permaculture for Everyone workshop this Saturday, March 27, by the Permaculture Research Institute.

permaculture: a word created by Australian ecologists Bill Mollison and David Holmgren, it is a contraction of “permanent agriculture” and usually refers to the inclusion of perennial agriculture (tree crops and food forests). Permaculture is a series of design strategies that can be applied to home gardens, large scale farms, metropolitan urban areas and the entire global economy.”       (source: Permatopia Dictionary)

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Another article in the Duluth News Tribune caught my eye this morning:  “Local interest in veggie gardening grows.” Ideally, everyone would grow their own veggies. Not everyone has the space, time, or energy to do that, which is one reason why CSA farms are here!

If you’re interested in gardening in any capacity (how about a few pots of herbs or some cherry tomatoes?), there’s a conference on growing your own fruits and vegetables this Saturday, March 20, at the Coppertop Church, 230 E Skyline. It costs $25 and you can preregister with St. Louis County Extension by calling 218-733-2870. Let me know how it goes!

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