Howard Magazine - Page 6 - Editor's Note

Howard Magazine
- Page 6
Editor's Note

Brown thumb


An ode to home gardeners from the agriculturally challenged


One afternoon on summer break from high school, friends invited me on strawberry-picking trip to Larriland Farm in Woodbine. It was an annual tradition, but agriculture was new concept in my thoroughly suburban upbringing.


I wasn’t prepared to bake in the sun, crouch in the dirt and sift through dozens of leaves to locate a single strawberry. I lasted about 10 minutes.


“Why can’t we just get strawberries at the grocery store?” I whined.


I can’t say I’ve set foot in a strawberry field since high school (my thumb isn’t green; it’s brown and shriveled) but I’ve come to appreciate the magic of freshly picked fruit and the dedication of the people who grow it.


I have great admiration home gardeners like Columbia’s Kent Philips, who has raised his own organic produce for 42 years. By early May, his 140 square feet of raised beds were already lush with greens, and his partner, Mary Patton, had incorporated them into a hearty sausage, potato and kale soup. He shares some of his gardening secrets on page 36.


My backyard will never look like Phillips’, but I can still draw inspiration from other homeowners in this issue. I have aspirations to one day own a grand, historic home like the ones in our roundup on page 28 – all places the average Jane can visit now or in the near future.


And if I were to answer the Quick Takes question on page 10, I’d fantasize about a Victorian in Ellicott City’s historic district.


In the meantime, I’ll focus on keeping my houseplants from shriveling like my thumb.


Rachel Cieri Mull