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But so far, tending the massive garden hasn’t been as labor-intensive as one might expect. “We’re starting to get more weeds, but we’re still spending less time weeding than we did last year,” John said. “This was clean dirt.”
And vegetables are planted close together, giving weeds little room to grow, Bierbruaer noted.
She’s been struck by the family’s enthusiastic commitment to their new landscape. “The most amazing thing is how much the Schoenherrs have embraced it, their willingness to take it on and to learn,” she said. “There’s never a moment of intimidation.”
Catherine finds she spends more time chatting with neighbors, less time getting things done. “I’ve always been punctual. Now I come out, I’m visiting, and I have to say, ‘I gotta go.’ But that’s the life I want,” she said. “We always had a close neighborhood, but neighbors I didn’t know as well, I know better now.”
The 9-year-old girl who lives across the street is now a frequent garden helper — and consumer. “She’s trying things she wouldn’t eat before,” Catherine said.
Another neighbor is planning to install her own edible landscape next year. “I can’t even begin to understand what effect this is having on everybody,” Catherine said. “I think it’s the start of a really good thing.”
Kim Palmer • 612-673-4784
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