By Jennifer Stultz Editor
Ellen Mohler at Mulberry Lane Farm Greenhouse near Sawyer grew up parents with grandparents and who gardened.
“There’s never been a year, as far back as I can remember, that I’ve never planted something,” she said.
With the COVID pandemic in the close past and present world turmoil, Mohler said this year she was planting more things to eat than normal in her personal and public garden center.
“I put out more potatoes and onions, I’ve started a lot of cole crops,” she said. “I have also planted peas, radishes, lettuce, and broccoli. I’ll be planting enough green beans to can. This year my focus is on things we eat, and I have a lot of sales here going through the months of April and May so others can get their gardens going with things to eat.”
Mohler said supply chain issues had made it difficult this year for her to order different types of pots and some types of packaged seeds, but she was ready with the staples, and a few extra items for fun, to serve the public.
“It’s too early to plant them out yet, but I have many varieties of tomatoes and cucumbers started, as well as cabbage and lots of peppers,” she said. “Taking control of our food sources is something we can easily do with just a little work. And it’s fun. When I am just feeling exhausted with the world, I can come out here and work with the plants and I feel hopeful again. There is just something about working with growing things that helps.”
Mohler said she was having fun planting and planning a vast array of pepper plants this year.
“I’m experimenting with making my own spices, particular pepper powders,” she said. “I have all kinds of peppers planted – purple, green, red, orange, yellow, and lots and lots of jalepenos. When you grow them, and then dry them, you can grind them up to powder for storage and use in all your favorite recipes.”
Mohler said, as a baker (her other sideline hustle), she anticipated difficulty getting some spices and powders in the future, so having a source locally made sense.
“I’ve heard that pepper powder is good for diabetics and we seem to be seeing that more and more,” she said.
While she wouldn’t recommend putting pepper plants out in the garden until after May 1, Mohler said she would be ready with all kinds of peppers, melons, egg plant and okra starts for those who would like to try growing those.
Something new she tried this year, also ready to plant after the last hard freeze, is fennel.
“It’s a vegetable that grows kind of like celery at the bottom, but has fine leafy tops, almost like carrots. It smells good, almost like a lemony licorice, and it is supposed to be something you can season fish or other meats with when cooking,” she said. “I’ve seen it in the store and wanted to try it this year. So far it is looking very good.” Mohler said her who gar
Mohler said her who gardening enterprise at Mulberry Lane Farms was looking better this year than ever before, likely because she was spending more time in the greenhouses.
“I cut back on the baking this year,” she said. “I still do orders and requests, but I’ve had to adjust to the economy and gardening is making a lot more sense right now.” Mohler said she had plans in place to build a farm store that would be for baked and farm-fresh item sales, but she changed her mind this spring and has converted that space to an area for more plants. “I love plants. I love to see
“I love plants. I love to see them grow,” she said.
Mohler advised customers to continue to check her Facebook pages at Mulberry Lane Farms for upcoming sales that would be happening each week with a different focus.
“I always have the six and four-pack flats on sale,” she said. “And don’t forget the flowers. I have anything and everything you need to add a little color to your landscape.”
Right now, Mohler has on sale pre-chilled bulbs that can be planted immediately and then will bloom in three to four weeks.
“It’s never to late to get started,” she said. “It’s time to get gardening.”