MEXICO – Gail Cutting believes in intensive, successive gardening.
She’s an advocate of small plot intensive gardening, or SPIN for short.
On her and her husband’s .97 acre lot on the Roxbury Road, she grew enough produce last season to fill hundreds of canning jars and sold enough to make scores of area people very pleased to be able to eat fresh, homegrown vegetables.
Cutting, president of the River Valley Farmers Market Association, is gearing up for another year of offering locally grown vegetables and fruit, as well as a myriad of home-baked products. Others in the association will also offer similar produce, along with eggs, beef, apples, jellies and jams, and more.
In a large, plastic covered greenhouse, rows and rows of lettuce, spinach, chard and other vitamin-packed greens are well on their way to the salad bowl. In an adjacent hoop house, raspberry plants and peas are thriving. Along the sides of her home are narrow and wide swathes of freshly tilled soil, ready for the planting. A few metal pipes serve as stakes for the soon-to-be-planted pole beans.
Her husband was busy Monday afternoon tilling up another plot that will soon be filled with onion sets, green onion seeds, more peas, beets, more spinach and carrots. Another, slightly smaller plot between the greenhouse and shed, is where Carl plans to plant strawberries. Everywhere, there are plants planted, or soil ready for the planting.
And when the growing season is going full tilt, Gail will have her own farmstand alongside the road.
Cutting believes in urban gardening and the local food movement.
When she and her husband moved to the area two years ago, they knew what they wanted to do: plant a marketable garden. And Gail wanted to start an in-home bakery so she could produce some of the sweet goodies her grandmother always made.
Her business is called Grandma’s House Bakery and Gardens.
She’s also involved in the local farmers market. This year, the weekly market begins on June 18 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Labonville parking lot in Mexico and will continue each Friday through much of autumn.
More than a half-dozen farmers have signed up to bring produce. Cutting is hoping a beekeeper, flower grower or milk producer will join the weekly market, along with anyone who produces any fruit or vegetable.
Last year, a spinner demonstrated her craft, and Cutting is hoping that more craftspeople, or a musician or two, will join the farmers market this year.
The River Valley Farmers Market Association meets monthly. Anyone who wishes to take part is welcome to attend the next meeting set for 4 p.m. May 11 at the River Valley Technology, or call Cutting at 364-3424 for more information.
In the meantime, she’s busy planting, fertilizing, and right now, munching on radishes and young tender greens.