Our Founder, Ella, has always loved plants, houseplants that is, or rather they have always loved her. She often tells the story that in her house her mother killed the plants, and she would nurse them back to life. Her teenage room did not have posters of the backstreet boys, a pedestal bed, or pink frilly bedspreads. Her room looked more like a rainforest with vivid ferns, exotic croton, and mottled calathea. It even had a bobcat curled up between the pillows and comforter. As in, Bob, her cat.
When she started adulting and had her own place to care for she moved into the wonderful world of landscaping and flowerbeds. She started planting flowers next to the house, around trees, down pathways, and along patios and porches.
So, when they bought the farm her husband suggested putting in a vegetable garden. She did not know a think about vegetable gardens. “Umm, I’m a city girl! I bought my vegetables from the store or the farmer’s market in Lincoln Park!”
“I got this,” her husband assured her. Having been raised on a farm she believed him and agreed they should have a vegetable garden as long as he take care of it. Only he didn’t. Oh, he was diligent in working the soil every spring, planting the seeds and plants, mostly tomatoes, peppers, and kohlrabi. And then he would promptly forget about it. So the vegetable garden soon became a thriving weed garden.
Admittedly, Ella did not know much about vegetable gardens but she was pretty sure they were supposed to grow vegetables, not smartweeds. Every time she walked past the garden she swore she heard the tomato plants screaming, HELP! “I felt physically sorry for them,” she explained. She promptly told my husband that she would be taking over the garden and that he was no longer allowed in it. He just smiled like a Cheshire cat and said, “Okay.”
Yes, she was played!
She figured if she was going to have a garden it needed to encompass her love of fresh herbs and cooking. First thing she did was double the size and add more veggies. Along with the tomato and peppers, she added corn, zucchini, cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower, beets, onions, strawberry, kale, and lettuce. When she outgrew that, she added more garden to plant squash, pumpkin, and watermelon. Today there are several gardens planted here and there with flowers, fruits, herbs, and vegetables.
Then, she decided to treat it like landscaping. Instead of a patch of turned up dirt in the yard. She looked for ways to bring in interest and make it an area that people wanted to hang out in. You will find interested seating snugged in and around the gardens. Borders to create clean lines and help control the more viney plants that if not careful will overtake the garden. Pathways were added for visual contrast and to provide a way to walk around without trampling vegetation or getting shoes muddy.
All of the gardens are part of the experience here on the farm and we are happy. We hope you enjoy the them! – Cedar Oak Farms