“Straw into gold.” That’s what Rumplestiltskin wished for in the fairy tale, and that’s what we’re hoping for in the Vision Loss Resources garden. But unlike fortune-hunter Stiltskin, the gold we’re looking for will be fragrant, curly herbs, bright vegetables and enormous pumpkins, all growing out of straw bales.
Last fall, one of our clients mentioned in passing, “Wouldn’t it be fun to have a garden group?” She practices what she preaches, and at the time was handing out cuttings from her beefsteak begonias.
We like to accommodate our clients. But Vision Loss Resources, with buildings in both cities, sits on poor soil in both locations.
So what to do? A staff member, a former 4-H’er and Wisconsin farm boy, suggested straw-bale gardening. Another staff member with farming roots got us some straw bales, and the garden was born last month.
The bales bail us out of the poor-soil problem. Clients have planted vegetables in the bales in St. Paul, and the bales in Minneapolis will be conditioned to accept plants.
The bales stand at a good height so that people don’t have to bend over. And they can be placed in configurations that easily accommodate wheelchair access.
Now all we need is some sun! The bales in St. Paul are host to a crop of volunteer mushrooms that sprouted in the soggy, cloudy weather. That’s one crop that will be a pleasure to weed.
Stay tuned for more updates from the Garden Club.