Claire Carver, at her Bethel greenhouse, is anxious to get her tomatoes and other plants in the ground. Rose Lincoln

BETHEL — As a child, Claire Carver grew bleeding hearts and bachelor’s buttons in her own tiny garden her mother gave her.

When she and her family moved to Bethel 38 years ago she started her own garden. She and her mother went to garden tours together and like her mother she uses a fan to get her plants acclimated for their move outside. “She was an excellent gardener,” says Carver. “I was envious.”

Carver’s mother passed away Jan 1, but she continues their shared passion.

Inside the greenhouse with it’s heated foundation that her husband built, she has 30 tomato plants started in yogurt containers; cantaloupe; Chinese cabbage; two kinds of cucumbers, and broccoli rabe. All of her many flowers she starts from her own seeds.

The former teacher takes notes, too.

Last year she started lettuce, kale and spinach inside in mid-March and was cutting for salads by April. But this year the same three plants didn’t produce until May. She ponders aloud what she did differently.

When two cosmos are started from the same seed but grow dissimilarly, she again is perplexed. “Two different kids from the same parent,” she says.

To irrigate, she uses the distilled water from her husband’s reverse osmosis holding tanks and also the rainwater she collects from the roof of the house. She has never run out.

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