My Garden Story

When Jim and I moved into our 90-year-old farmhouse ten years ago, we had hundreds of "must do" jobs: adding electricity, running water, a bathroom, and so much more. Most of the work we accomplished on our own, learning much as we went along. Our goal, all along, has been to establish an organic farm, a Community Supported Agriculture farm. We are reaching this goal this spring, having sold our first shares, beginning our commercial enterprise in earnest.

Throughout the development of our farm and restoration of our farmhouse, I have been digging beds, planting flowers, digging more beds, and planting more flowers. Our backyard/farmyard was a mass of black raspberry brambles and ancient apple and pear trees. I have transformed the area into a lovely conglomeration of flowerbeds, paths, a small pond, bird and animal habitat enhancing shrubs and bushes, and an herb garden dug just last year. As a result, we have a constant array of birds, butterflies, and oohing and aahing friends. Our new wrap-around porch is the perfect spot to sit and enjoy the garden view!

I admit to being a novice gardener. I have said a million times: "If I had known that plant was going to do that, I never would have planted it there!" So, plants get moved, and I learn something new. We are strictly organic. If the bugs really want to eat a particular plant, I won't grow that plant. We use compost, fish emulsion, soap sprays, and hands-on debugging.

Our farm setting is extraordinary. The farm is in the middle of Leelanau County, a peninsula surrounded by Lake Michigan on three sides. We own 80 acres of rolling farmland right in the middle of the peninsula, on which we have planted about 10,000 trees, evergreen and hardwood.

Jim and I have done all the work on our land ourselves. This is our great adventure and we love what we do. Although we are in the beginning stages, we are proud of what we have accomplished and have great plans for the future.

We enjoy getting the Gardener's Suppply Company catalog. I have purchased a number of items over the years. Recently I bought two of the Microwave Flower Presses, one as a gift for my niece and one for myself. I have great plans to make cards and other items to sell this summer along with our farm's produce.

My garden is a work in progress, as all gardens are, but I think it is special in that it is in such a particularly lovely setting in such a particularly lovely part of the world.

If you have comments about this article or would like to share your own garden story, e-mail our Garden Editor at: info@gardeners.com

Click here to read more profiles of successful home gardeners.

Share This Article