Vegetables

Lisa Johnson

There's a reason the show is called Tips for Hardy Gardeners and not Tips for Hardy Plants.

Some of them didn't make it through the killing frosts of late May.

Some of them didn't make it through the blazing heat of last week.

And now, Tom Kasper says, some of them aren't going to make it through the most anguish-ridden time for gardeners: the thinning.

Tom Kasper/Open Hands Food Project

Not even a week of rain can dampen Tom Kasper's enthusiasm for the Open Hands Food Project.

Last year, he donated over 2500 pounds of food to the Damiano Center over about three months.  This year he's thinking even bigger: weekly donations for 18 or 18 weeks.  More fruits and vegetables. Partnerships this year not just with the Damiano Center, but with local food initiatives like Second Harvest Food Bank, and the YMCA's meal program.

Tom Kasper. Used with permission.

Tom Kasper's mid-life crisis involves vegetables.

After considering himself a flower gardener (since he was seven years old), he realized that he wanted to do something in the most straightforward way possible to let people in our community know they're cared about.

This year, that meant over a ton (2200 lbs) of fresh food donated to the Damiano Center ... and now he's scheming how to produce more and better for next year.

The Lake Superior Harvest Festival was just another in the long line of anticipated - but cancelled - events this year.

But the Lake Superior Sustainable Farming Association, which hosts the event, hasn't been moping.

Tom Kasper. Used with permission.

Someday, Tom Kasper wants to find a grant that will help him build small gardens for folks who couldn't afford it otherwise.

Patra Wise

David Wise created a small business on land his family has been farming for generations, out near Sawyer, and he’s all about health.

A favorite saying of his grandmother provided their mission statement (Mino Mashkiki
in Ojibwe means "good medicine").

Farming techniques are designed to keep the soil,  water and the rest of the ecosystem healthy, and growing healthy foods in healthy ways are paramount.

“My grandmother taught me that good food is good medicine,” says David.

Tom Kasper/Lisa Johnson

September is perfect for spending time in the garden.  The temperatures are lovely, the harvest is busting out all over, and it's great to find a comfortable place to sit (in or near your plot), appreciate what you've accomplished and plan a little for how you could garden for yourself - and others - next year.

Gordon Joly/Flickr

Warm sun,  some actual rain - and Tom Kasper says, if we plan it right, we can get two or maybe even three harvests this season.

Plus the moral issues inherent in carrot-thinning, this week on Tips for Hardy Gardeners.

KaLisa Veer/Unsplash

Whether it's bird watching, phenology or planning a garden, the backyard is the place to be these days.

As soon as things dry out a little more, Tom Kasper says we can get started on raking the gravel off the lawn, pruning animal-damaged trees and shrubs, and sussing out the perfect spot for your new vegetable garden.

Gabriel Jimenez/Unsplash

Listening to this morning's episode of The Simple Plate, Tom Kasper started thinking about how growing our own food can have an impact on our economic lives, social issues, environmental issues ... and our psychological as well as physical health.

Tom Kasper

Master gardener Tom Kasper offers some tips for gardeners preparing for separation anxiety as they say goodbye to their gardens for year ...

Prince Abid/Unsplash

Tom Kasper celebrates 22 years hosting Tips for Hardy Gardeners with reminders to water your vegetables if you didn't get any rain over the past few days, and that it's the perfect time of year to divide and share perennials.

Despite a gardening career that spans decades, author John Whitman says he thought he knew more than he did when he sat down to produce Fresh From The Garden: An Organic Guide to Growing Vegetables, Berries and Herbs in Cold Climates.