Feature Month: Marie

As most of you know, we bought a house this spring in a little town right on the Maryland-Virginia border. Buying a house is always a gamble; you never know who you will end up living next to. I feel very fortunate to report that we hit the neighbor jackpot. We had no sooner unpacked our belongings when three of our four neighbors (both sides of the road) came to introduce themselves and welcome us with open arms. We have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know them little by little over the last four months and it is my great pleasure to introduce you to one of two who will be participating in Feature Month, here on the blog. Marie, take it away!

Name:  Marie Boshoff

State: Maryland

Grow Zone: Same as Meg

Gardening style (container, raised bed, tilled plot, etc.): Tilled plot

How long have you been gardening: three years

Why do you garden: It brings me joy. I like having dirty feet walking around in the garden “hunting” for tomatoes under all the weeds that have taken over. One year we’ll get the weeds under control.

Do you typically garden alone or with friends/family/pets: With my husband and daughter. It’s a team effort. We like to venture into the garden after work. Visit with our chickens and see what the groundhogs have eaten since our last visit. They love our pumpkins. Our chewed-up pumpkins are definitely a scary sight. We took the biggest one and have already placed it on our front porch. This is the earliest we have ever decorated for Fall.

Biggest success of 2021 season: Our zucchinis. They came in fast! I made some zucchini bread, a few pasta dishes with sauce, and froze several freezer bags full. After that, I placed a “FREE” sign in the driveway and gave several away to our neighbors.

Most unfortunate failure (lesson) of 2021 season: We need tomato ties/stakes. The last two years have been the same. We plan to use the bamboo growing in our backyard for making sustainable stakes, but we never get around to doing it. Instead, evil thorny weeds grow up and we rest the tomatoes on them. Sometime, I think this process actually works because my tomatoes usually go uneaten by the critters outside.

What is your most used gardening tool: A reusable bag. Without it, I usually use my skirt, shirt, or even my husband’s hat if I have nothing else to use (nearby) to collect veggies with.

Favorite plant that you’ve ever grown: Zucchini. I love homemade zucchini bread. I also really enjoy fried zucchini with (garden) tomato, fresh eggs with feta cheese, and a side of toast.

What are you most looking forward to growing in the future: Brussels sprouts and sunflowers.

One last piece of advice for our readers: Wear gardening gloves and boots. And, water frequently.

Many thanks to Marie (and Rosalie) for kicking off our guest appearances. One of the first things I heard about Marie from other neighbors was her ability to keep the whole community stocked with zucchini, so I was not surprised to see her chair of goodies go out in the yard. I look forward to many seasons of sharing garden harvests and ideas with this creative neighbor of mine. If any of you have questions for Marie, feel free to comment below. Cheers, friends!

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