We’re finding the gardens are BURSTING with ABUNDANCE in JULY & AUGUST! In past years, folks are saying they had one or two crops produce like crazy, but this year all of them are over producing and they’re canning as much as they have jars for. Jars can be found, but not as abundantly as in the past. It’s nearly impossible to find regular sized seals, but everyone has wide mouthed seals. I placed an order in December of 2020 for 50 wide mouthed cases of quart jars and 50 wide mouthed cases of pint jars. When the dust settled, I found I only had 18 cases of quarts and 16 cases of pints, but we are thankful for these. Now they’re selling cases of jars with rings, but no seals.
Buddy, Beverly, and Cindy Hackworth
The Hackworths put out an amazing garden every year, teaching the next generation as they go. They’ve even taught me the tricks (and joys) of digging sweet potatoes. This year they’re on a new plot and it’s promising to be as bountiful as their previous gardens. They put their hands to the soil and create something near perfection every time. They sell their extra produce at several farmers markets in the area and have repeat customers ask for them by name.
Genoia Hackworth is the sister to Buddy and successful gardening must run in the family. Her smile is as bright as morning sunshine and she fixes an amazing breakfast when you come to visit their gardens!! The rows are straight and the beans are already 7 foot tall. Genoia and Buddy had a new toy their nephew gifted them for gardening and it was exciting to see. Can you spot it?
Shannon & Teresa Shepherd
Shannon & Teresa Shepherd have a fun garden for their grand babies to race through and their chickens to enjoy from the run surrounding their bounty! They’ve started building a greenhouse for next years growing and eventually year round enjoyment. It’s a relaxing visit when you get the privilege and Alice their beautiful pup greets you at the car. You’d never know she was 13 years young by her sweet face. I love visiting with them and their garden.
Tammy & Randy Haney along with Aaron & Tessie & Hank Haney!
Tammy and Randy Haney have been gardening this plot for generations with Tammy’s family and now their continuing the tradition with their own adult kids and adorable grandkids. The soil is black and rich looking and the plants are thriving. Their grandson, Hank, has taken an especially strong interest in growing and selling their produce at market. He’s a future entrepreneur and it’s exciting to see! They sold at market their first time and made a pretty penny selling produce, potted succulents, and worm vermicose. This boy is going places and his family is right behind him, encouraging him.
Beatrice & Larry Sergent
Beatrice & Larry Sergent have taken an empty lot in their neighborhood and turned it into a thriving garden! It’s a beauty and an asset to the surrounding homes. Their flowers and landscaping are gorgeous too! Every neighborhood should try to do this in our urban areas and put up their extras. Beatrice has canned lots of beans and they’ve enjoyed the fresh veggies.
Lynn & Richard Wilcox
It was a wonderful surprise to find Lynn & Richard’s garden tucked behind a treelined creek and see their dogs racing through the rows of beans. The scarecrow was standing guard doing his job of keeping the deer out, but the dogs weren’t fooled! Their cucumbers were loaded and covering a vertical fence that was at least five foot tall. It was a beautiful garden and you could tell they took great pride in their hard work. That okra tho….. It was coming on strong and I’m sure is starting to bear now.
Kyle is a busy HVAC Tech so getting him to find time for a garden visit in the heat of summer was tricky, but we made it happen. I was surprised to see long rows of strawberries (100 feet? I can’t remember) and even longer rows of corn and beans. His daughter helped show how tall the corn was by standing with her arm above her head and the corn was close to 2 feet taller then that! His cabbage was good sized and almost ready for picking. Tomatoes were turning all shades of orange and red. I’m sure they’re enjoying their bounty now.
Mike & Joyce VanHoose
Mike & Joyce VanHoose have a beautiful little hideaway deep in the hills of…… Somewhere!! I traveled up and down hills and finally came out into this huge valley where their garden was laid out. They have an off grid cabin, a well, an outhouse, and a playhouse for the grandkids that seconds as a hunting blind when the occasional deer tries to stroll into the garden. It was a magical hidden garden full of wonderful surprises! Lemon cucumbers, tomatoes galore, more varieties of beans than I’ve ever seen in one garden and when I asked why they planted so many different kinds, Mike said, so we could decide which ones we like best! Of Course! My favorite plant in their garden was the giant Dog Tick! Or Castor bean for those in the know….. Great for keeping rodents far, far away from your precious veggies. Their piece of Big Blue Sky was a place you’d want to spend long, leisurely hours at. What a joy!
Karen & Freddie Salyer
Karen & Freddie’s place sits up on a hill with a beautiful view, but the view they give to others is something to behold too! Their yellow flowers dancing across the front of their house were beautiful! Pure sunshine! Their raised beds on the side of the house were already bursting with tomatoes, onions, zucchini, and peppers. The beans were coming up nicely and looked very promising! The produce is starting to roll in if they can keep the deer from enjoying their spoils before they do!
Teresa & Jim O’Bryan
Teresa is a soft spoken very humble gardener that has a lot to be proud of, even when she doesn’t think so. Her garden was beautiful and flourishing between all of the other things they have going on. I was amazed at all the history around them and their property. Family was gathered breaking beans, watching the grand babies, and allowing Teresa to take the time to show Mark Walden and myself around for the day. She had some concerns about the bean beetles starting to nibble on the leaves, but that’s what bugs do when they find a tasty bean. She had several varieties of heirloom beans, tomatoes and corn. I can’t begin to describe how interesting her place was.
Glenna Robinson & Kenneth Bradley
Glenna and her son, Kenneth, garden on adjoining plots in a HUGE bottom land that has very rich soil. They expand every year and now have around 3 plots full of corn, beans, cabbage, squash, & melons that feed six different families. They love to plant succession crops of beans and corn and spring and fall Cole crops and Kenneth keeps detailed records back to 2009. Their green thumbs go way back to Glenna’s Daddy who loved to grow a garden and taught anyone who wanted to learn. Glenna is teaching her grand baby the joys of gardening and eating fresh corn whenever she gets a minute with her and the toddler is the apple of everyone’s eye! This generational gardening could go on for eternity!