Listed in United States
- Ramsey, MN, U.S.A.
Hi, my name is Sally, I grew up in a cucumber patch in Superior WI, helping my grandma Mary and my mom grow a huge garden. My grandmother sold vegetables and raised chickens to supplement her income, and it was a family activity to say the least. I have been a Master Gardener for the U of MN Extension Service (Anoka County) since 2006, and my specialty is teaching herb classes.
I have lived in Ramsey, MN for the last 25 years, on what is commonly referred to as the Anoka Sand Plain. We have the worst soil for growing vegetables in the world; nothing but sand as far down as you can dig. I suppose the only advantage to it is that it drains well! I have been adding black dirt and compost to my garden in an effort to improve the soil for years with only marginal results. I think I mostly added weed seeds!
I am a busy person—I work full time, I am attending college right now to earn my Business Administration degree, and I have two sons who still live at home—and I had all but given up trying to grow vegetables in my weedy garden. I just don’t have time to weed. Last spring (2014) I saw Joel on the KARE 11 Saturday morning show talking about Straw Bale Gardening. I was intrigued by the idea of not having to weed the garden, so to learn more, right then and there, I downloaded the Kindle version of his book. My husband and I bought 20 straw bales, followed the directions for conditioning them, and planted the best vegetable garden we have ever grown. My yield of Roma tomatoes was so large from just three plants, that I canned 4 large batches of salsa. I took lots of pictures and posted them on Facebook, sent them to my friends, and Joel is right; everyone wants to know about it.