Saturday, June 11, 2011

growing your own

Although Flower Sundays have passed at the Rochester Public Market, there are still many farmers from whom you can buy seedlings and plants for your home or community garden.

While I can buy almost any herb or vegetable fresh at the market, growing them in our garden at home is quite a treat for me. Merle and Shelia Palmiter, Palmiter's Garden Nurseries, Avon, grow a huge collection of herbs. I was thrilled to find shiso, a green leaf type herb used as a garnish with sashimi. I enjoy putting several shiso leaves on a fresh tomato sandwich.

Other necessary plants I've planted are tomatoes, hot and sweet peppers and even broccoli if there is enough space. One summer, Ginny Eaton, Eaton Farm, Ontario, planted seeds from a tomato I had grown the previous summer. Here is the result—a full six pack of tomato plants grown from those seeds! Where else in the world, could you find such an amazing farmer to go to such trouble!

Paul Watson has several greenhouses on his farm, Paul Watson Greenhouses, Rush. Even in mid-summer. he has herbs and plants available, like rosemary which I encouraged to grow until the first frost last year.

His sister, Sue Watsonworks full-time during the week, but helps Paul at the market on the weekends.

Flowers are always wanted. Since our small space is shaded, we can mainly plant impatiens, begonias, and perennials like sedum, hosta, lady's mantel, valerian, primrose, and the peonies that were there when we moved in. Hugh Stevenson and his wife Genny, Hu-Gen Greenhouses, Wayland, have flowers that I wish I could grow—lupines, lilies, lilacs, besides hundreds of annuals and other perennials. 

We have only a small space behind our townhouse, but I've planted several herbs to have at any time I need a pinch in a recipe—like parsley, basil, or thyme. Each summer we've enjoyed fresh herb plants which I've bought from Jeff Werner, Werner Farm Market, Rush, the happy guy in the center of this pictures.

If you don't have space at home, there are several community gardens in the city where you can rent a spot. Here is a link to

Whether you grow some local produce on your own or just come to the market to support our local farmers who do all the dirty work, enjoy all the local produce soon flooding our market.