Hello, everyone . . .

Several years ago, the fairly new home with about 1/2 acre of yard,

sold to a family consisting of Dad, Mom, three children, and

Grandma. Because of our busy schedule, we have only achieved a

nodding, waving acquaintance. We were fascinated watching the change

Kim and her mother wrought on their piece of land. We kept check with

our twice a day drive-by.

First, Kim ripped out almost all of the existing lawn, secured a used

roto-tiller, and proceeded to dig up her front, back, and one side

yard. Next she had several loads of good soil mixes delivered,

spread these out, working some long hours. Then came the mum

plants! She had ordered some of the big, beautiful showy ones, along

with smaller blooms. Planting them in long rows, Kim carefully

staked each plant, carried hoses, buckets of water to each, along

with hours of weeding on her knees. She was rewarded over the long

Summer with colored beautiful blooms of all sizes. My eyes never

tired of seeing the splendor.

Why? What was she doing? After moving to her home, Kim visited the

local florists within 20 or so miles. She ascertained their need and

made some bargains. Those mums were being growing for the local

flower businesses -- fresh from the field, little delivery costs,

carefully aiming for pesticide-free plants, the blooms were a godsend

for the local florists -- and being local was a great selling point

for the businesses. Kim paid for all her supplies, plant tubers,

everything, from her first year profits. This is Kim's 4th year, and

she has added raspberry bushes to her remaining side yard, and sells

all the berries to the local green grocer.

Kim says in ways she misses a yard, but the children have a large

deck, driveway, and the nearby small park. The money earned has

helped pay off the small starter loan far ahead of time, and enable

her to purchase an acre plot of land next door -- for more plantings.

So, look around your yard . . . your parent's yard . . . it doesn't

have to be large . . . check out your local florists, see what they

need or would love locally grown. Maybe Rhubarb, green beans . . .

see if you can sell the excess.

Maybe an idea for next year.

hona . . . in western washington state, usa