Author: Saxon Brown

Jonny checking the chickens
Robert tilling

On Tuesday, Nancy and I visited Mr. Robert O’Rear and his son, Jonny at their garden between Berea and Mount Vernon.  Robert’s full-time job has been the garden this summer and he has a full-time helper in his enthusiastic young son.  He got a late start, due to all the land being new to gardening and having some equipment problems, but with a little growth, he’ll have a great deal of produce.  His plan is to put away food for his family and then to give the rest to local food pantries and churches.  His landlord is awesome enough to not only let him have several thousand square feet of garden and chickens, but Robert also has plans to build a greenhouse on the property so that he can get a much earlier start on plantings for years to come!  Nancy and I provided him, and all the gardeners we saw that day, with pepper and cabbage plants donated by Joyce Gabbard of Dogwood Greenhouse.
We also stopped by April Johnson’s garden.  She’s had some trouble due to construction on the road which is right next to her garden, they’ve plowed up several rows of her plot doing their work!  April is a very laid-back young woman, she is excited about her garden and not phased by her wiley young puppy running through it as she was talking with us.  Her beans are laden down with pods, her onions are a nice mid-size and her sunflowers are on their way to blossoming.  If she wants it, she’ll have some canning to do!
Our last stop of the day was to Tress Spencer’s home near Berea.  Tress had just finished slaughtering 12 chickens that morning, she has more layers in the back, and a couple goats doing some of her mowing for her.  Her garden’s gotten away from her bit, due to some long trips and her avid desire to keep the soil covered.  “I can’t stand bare dirt,” she told us.  Tress has many different small square or round plots with peas, tomatoes, potatoes, squash, and some interesting purple-green asian lettuce from greens-guru David Kennedy.
It’s always interesting to see the many different methods and ideas unique to each gardener or family of gardeners.
Shall I chime in on the prayers for rain?