Welcome to my Garden

Barb Napier Snug Hollow“A garden is a valued asset in mountain culture where we grow it, eat it, dry it, or can it. That simple.”

My garden is a celebration of the “giving” spirit of Snug Hollow Farm. Long growing seasons, bountiful harvests and restful fallow times are true gifts of this land. What an inspiration to find myself on my knees in the soil, planting or weeding only to be interrupted by the long howl of a coyote, the shrill call of a swooping red tailed hawk, or a surprise rain storm. Moments like these bring a stillness to feel and listen to the world around me. Misty spring mornings, summer evenings and fall days call me to the garden to “enjoy an old friend.”

My first gardening experience was Mom’s garden and it was truly “her garden.” We were allowed to enter but this was her world. My mother was an avid follower of Rodale’s Organic Gardening and her garden was a showpiece in our rural town. Small and compact, it was chocked full of a variety of vegetables that supplied our family and neighbors with fresh food all summer.

After moving to the farm, I owned and operated a Farm Service Center. This experience and studying horticulture at a local university gave me some knowledge of soils, vegetable varieties and their hardiness in this area. Both whetted my appetite to get my hands dirty and to begin my own organic garden. Soon I did just that!

Through my years as chief gardener at Snug Hollow, the garden has played different roles in my life: friend, teacher, business partner, nourishment of mind, body, spirit, and more.

Gardening organically has been an adventure that has led me down many roads. In the beginning, new information came quickly and Mom’s suggestions were inspiring, but in the end, I have found experience to be my best teacher. It’s the overnight miracle of gardening that keeps me loving it so. The first turning of the beds, dropping the tiny seeds into the black, cavernous earth, hidden from life-sustaining sunlight, always tests my faith in Mother Nature.

The garden quickly became a business opportunity as my entrepreneurial spirit led me to start a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). This time spent in my garden was the most creative of my life. Certifying the farm as organic, selecting and planting the crops and lavishing them with love and sweat equity paid off.

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is an agreement between the grower and the consumer. The consumer says, “We value our food, how it’s grown and who grows it.” The grower and the consumer take the growing risks together. Everyone is a winner, with good food, friendships and an understanding of where the food is grown.