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If you plant it, it will grow

By Melinda Mawdsley

It’s time to throw a little controversy into the gardening blog.

This garden isn’t mine. Heck, this garden isn’t even local. It’s the joint effort of my parents and grandparents in Iowa where farmers take their squash plants seriously.

Even in the winter, they are prepping to plant. So it should come as no surprise, being a farmer’s daughter, that I would use a recent trip back to Iowa to highlight gardening in the Midwest.

Every region of the country, for the most part, has strengths or obstacles when it comes to growing fruits and vegetables. In Iowa, the biggest strength is its soil.

I don’t know anyone who adds anything to soil in Iowa other than the ocassional pesticide or insecticide. It is as black as night. Honestly, I’ve thought about paying my parents to haul buckets of the stuff out here where the soil is dry and a little low on nutrients.

Is that illegal?

Consequently, plants — and weeds — flourish in Iowa’s humid summer months where plenty of rain typically falls, giving the state this lush green color that does not exist here.  Even an outsider — my Mesa County-native husband — marveled at the plants.

That’s a kohlrabi, which he had never heard about. In the Mawdsley family, kohlrabi is dessert. Peel that sucker and eat it raw.

However, he did note, as did my parents, that fruit doesn’t grow in Iowa like it does in Mesa County. True. I have to ship Palisade peaches home later this summer.


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