You’ve read about my adventures with gardening at my farm, Roshara, in mid-Wisconsin. Those of you who have seen my PBS documentaries, “Old Farm” and “Farm Winter” have seen the Roshara garden. My family and I have tended that garden since about 1967, which translates into a long time. That sandy patch of ground continues to support three families so it’s a serious endeavor.
I’ve written little about my town garden. My son-in-law, Paul, built a raised garden for me a couple years ago. Made of wood, it is three and half feet wide by eight feet long. A tiny, tiny, garden compared to the one at Roshara. One reason you’ve heard little about this little garden is because it has mostly failed. I wanted at least half of it be a strawberry bed, but alas, save for a couple little struggling survivors, two winters have wiped out the strawberries. So this year, the town garden will be entirely vegetables.
So far, in this tiny little space, 28 square feet give or take, I have planted:
--five hills of early potatoes (they are just coming up)
--three hills of late potatoes
--a small patch of leaf lettuce (also up)
--a short row of snap beans
--a short row of red beets
--Nine tomato plants (early variety, cherry-type, and a seedless variety)
--Three hills of cucumbers (a new kind that is more bush than vine—we’ll see)
--Six broccoli plants
I have not taken my dad’s advice. He has been gone for more than twenty years but it lingers in my head, “Spread things out. Don’t plant vegetables too close together.” I’ve surely crowded things in my town garden.
We’ve yet to plant about half of the Roshara garden—trying to avoid those pesky mid-and late May morning frosts. I’ll keep you apprised of both gardens this year—we’ll see what happens.
THE OLD TIMER SAYS: If you can grow a garden in the country, you ought to be able to do it in town.
Tuesday, May 12, 10:00 a.m. Writers Forum, with Michael Perry and John Hildebrand. Eau Claire Regional Arts Center, 316 Eau Claire St., Eau Claire, WI (Part of Wisconsin Historical Society History Tour).
Thursday, May 14, Appleton Area Sierra Club, FREEA building, 1000 Ballard
Rd., Appleton. 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, May 20, 6:30 p.m. Barnes & Noble, Madison West. Whispers and Shadows, (Madison Area Launch).
Thursday, May 21, Noon. Beloit Retired Teachers, Boundaries Restaurant. Wit and Wisdom.
Wednesday, May 27, 7:00 p.m. Middleton Public Library, Whispers and Shadows.
Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fund raiser for them):
The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs, Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps and Jerry Apps A Farm Story.
Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including The Quiet Season (on which the DVD A Farm Winter is based), as well as Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm, (which are related to the DVD Jerry Apps a Farm Story). Also available is Jerry’s new novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County.
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street