THE FUNNY FARMER: An astonishingly boring, painful, humorous and occasionally insightful approach to gardening and life as amom, a former psychotherapist, and apparently a life-long patient.


My name is Cherie and I live in Southern Maine with my husband and two young children. I have a Master's Degree in Counseling Psychology and still have about 10k in remaining student loans to prove it. I left the field of practice three years ago, so this is not the place to be posting any suicide notes, okay? But if you want to hear about my garden and my gremlins, my pests and my problems, well then you just sit right down and read on!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Green Gifting

This is the first year that I have grown seedlings indoors and am loving the whole "gift" thing!  Here you can see my "greenhouse" (aka living room/toy room/office) that is starting to look like a jungle.  I barricaded the seedlings with toys so that little fingers would be less likely to explore.  I learned this early after little Miss M moved around some of my markers early in the season.  Because of this, many of my plantings are now called "Matilda's Mystery Tomato" because it could be any one of the 5 different tomato varieties I planted.

As you can see, my desk has officially succumbed to these babies and I am now blogging and working from the kitchen (that's Basil in the background.  Not the plant, the cat).   My husband doesn't get this but I planted extra seeds in case some didn't come up, saved some seeds to give away to other green-thumbers, and I still have a plethora of babies!  Tomatoes, red peppers, husk cherries, broccoli, pumkins, cucumbers....  It's a little out of control to be perfectly honest.  The time came to start "gifing" out of both love and necessity.

Some occasions have come up in the last couple of weeks where this abundance has come in handy.  We visited a friend at her parent's house while she was in town and I thought that it would be nice to buy some flowers for the host and hostess.  Being short on both time and cash, I went to my stash and assembled a lovely seedling basket of two types of tomatoes, pepper, and broccoli.  On a note card I wrote the names of the plants, the dates the seeds were planted, and the website of the seed company so the recipients can look up any other information about the seeds/plants.  They loved it!

Last weekend I did a similar thing...  I found a basket in the basement, and terra cotta pot in the shed, put together a gift of seedlings.   This time I had my son draw a picture on some card stock and I wrote the seedling information on the inside.  See attached pic.  Again, the recipients were quite pleased as they are planning their first garden this summer.

Another green gift opportunity came this week when a neighbor/friend had a birthday.  She had been talking about wanting to have more plants and flowers in front of her house, but did not know where to start.  So I attacked my perennials with a trowel, dug up different types of hostas, some periwinkle, and sedum.  While she was at work, I did some stealth planting and left a birthday card at her door.  She called me later that night and said that she was so surprised and touched that it made her cry!

Today's gift was to my son's after-Kindergarten program and my daughter's daycare.  The After-Kindergarten program is located in a former Farm Store on property that has long been farmland.  Last year the farm generously allocated a portion of their property for Community Gardens, where my son's program keeps a 15'x15' plot.  They need seedlings for their new garden, so it was a very welcome contribution.  They will bring the seedlings outdoors with them during recess for "hardening off", to acclimate them to the elements before planting them in their plot.  It feels really good to donate to such a wonderful learning opportunity for these little ones!

My daughter's daycare just happens to be located in an old Farmhouse.  They keep chickens, have wonderful outdoor plants and flowrs, lovely trails in the woods, and an all-around wonderful earthy feel.  I surprised them with some seedlings this morning for the owners and the teachers and they were all very touched and pleased.  One teacher is thrilled because she is having financial difficulties and this will provide food for her family.  The owner is planning on growing some of the plants beside the playground for the children to watch, nurture, harvest, and for snack time.

My next donation will be to the Community Garden's Plant A Row (PAR) program.  We are collectively tending two 15'x15' plots which will soon be ready for seedlings.  We will share the donations, the weeding, the watering, the harvesting, and the delivering of the produce to a town/church food bank that has identified 26 local families in need.

I tell you, I think my heart is going to explode!  I am honored to spread my love through gardening and also love that my children are observing and participating in this process.  The many late hours of planting, watering, nurturing, and re-potting are paying off and these little gifts are treasures will nourish my family, my friends, and my community.  Now I look forward to the hardening off, planting, coddling, and harvesting.  Oh yeah, and to getting my office back :D

1 comment:

Larina said...

This is great Cherie. You truly have a gift. And a gift in the right hands can really bloom! Thanks again for my flower bed. I really did think I had lost my mind. I stood there and blinked at them, like are those really flowers planted in my front flower bed. I love coming home and seeing them and how it makes my house really seem like a home and how blessed I am to have such amazing friends.