June 6, 2010 3:31:00 AM
"There is something terribly wrong if you aren''t growing -- and even sharing -- at least one or two pretty things you can eat," preaches Felder Rushing. The popular "Gestalt Gardener" radio show host and author of multiple books and columns will spread the garden gospel at the Hitching Lot Farmers'' Market between 7-10 a.m. Saturday, June 12, at Second Avenue and Second Street North.
He went on, "I mean, even my teenage daughter often puts a sprig of her own homegrown rosemary in a potfull of canned spaghetti sauce to make her look like an expert to her friends."
The unconventional garden guru is a breath of fresh and funny air in the oft-daunting world of horticulture.
His appearance in the Golden Triangle follows a keynote address Friday evening at the state Master Gardener Association annual meeting in Memphis, Tenn. He should be pretty easy to spot arriving in Columbus. Look for the vintage truck, filled to the bed rim with small shrubs, flowers, herbs and bottle tree sconces. He gets a chuckle out of calling it his "truck garden."
"At the Farmers'' Market, I''ll be demonstrating and talking generally about gardening in containers and small raised beds, with an emphasis on highly productive, attractive ''designer'' veggies and easy-to-use herbs such as rosemary, oregano and different kinds of basil," he shared. "I''ll also be answering folks'' questions about gardening and lawn care."
Where''d that come from?
Rushing advocates buying produce locally.
"If you can''t grow enough for yourself, be sure to visit the farmers'' markets to find what is locally grown, fresher and usually safer than something grown thousands of miles away by strangers on an industrial farm."
The author or co-author of 15 gardening books (including several national award winners) and former Extension Service urban horticulture specialist gives more than 100 lectures a year, coast to coast and overseas at flower shows, horticultural and plant society meetings and conferences.
He uses an offbeat, "down home" approach rife with humorous anecdotes and garden-irreverent metaphors, zany observations and stunning photography to help gardeners get past the "stinkin'' rules" of horticulture.
Other Market highlights Saturday will include live music, a children''s activity and local artisans. To learn more, visit www.hitchinglotfarmersmarket.com, or contact Main Street Columbus at 662-328-6305.
Learn more about Rushing -- and take a virtual tour of his amazing and unorthodox front yard -- at www.felderrushing.net.
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.