A conversation between the farmwives…
Cher wonders… So, ladies, we’re knee deep in it now. Spring is here. I know we were all very busy this week in our respective gardens. Dry soil conditions + big rain coming = busy. We’ve all been at this farming gig for many years now, and know what spring entails. We know about limited time and how to fill every second of these windows of gardening opportunity. As farmers, we have to constantly prioritize: crops that feed our families or pay the bills always take precedent over those that don’t. But, but, but… there are so many fascinating plants, interesting herbs, beautiful flowers, and obscure fruits that would be so fun to grow and experiment with! So many years I have ordered random seeds (particularly flowers, I love having flowers around!) and then they never get planted because they are not priority. So my question is, do you grow anything in your gardens that is just for fun? How do you make the time and space for planting something that some might consider frivolity? What are your special “hobby” crops?
i hear you cher and i have a couple of thoughts on this one. first, we have always sold bouquets at the farmers market. while the bulk of what fills our market stand is vegetables, we do sell some cut flowers. i think we initially started doing this to justify buying all of those delightful varieities of flowers and trying them out. we have a lot of flowers around, we all love them, and we adore the beauty it adds to the gardens and the market stand. second our current non edible, complete hobby, wonderfully frivolous, plant LOVE goes to the japanese indigo. we have dabbled in dye plants for years, but just last year we successfully dyed our own yarn with the blue derived from plants raised on the farm. sheep raised here, sheared here, dyed with our own dye stuff, now that justifies some row feet, doesn’t it ?
Coree says… We love our herb garden. After some nasty bouts with various allergic conditions, we gave more attention to growing our own medicine. It’s made for some good projects, motivated by our desire to quit sneezing. One of our favorite keepers has been tulsi. Indian Holy Basil. It smells divine, grows wonderfully in diverse conditions, and makes a tasty and healthful tea.
Lulah’s interest in flowers for the past couple seasons has also helped us expand our horizons. We still use zinnias and cosmos fore-mostly, but her interest has carried us deeper into that realm. Got to love that.