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MAY 26, 2008   

Ready to plant

Woke up today in my own bed with no childcare responsibilities for the first time in five days. We finished our babysitting gig with the grandkids—ages 1, 2-1/2 and 11—at 1 a.m. when Danny & Misty arrived home from their vacation. All in all it was good to have the luxury of spending lots of time with the kids rather than an hour here and there. Not what I'd call relaxing by a long shot, but good.

Aerial view of Foote's Farm and Greenhouse, surrounded by parking lotsToday turned beautifully sunny after a cloudy morning, a good day to buy vegetable plants for the garden to supplement the peppers that I started from seed.

We drove down I-77 to Foote's Farm in Valley View, the last remaining farm/greenhouse in an area that used to be home to dozens. Now it's an island surrounded by parking lots, office buildings and chain restaurants. Across Canal Road on the left of the photo is the Ohio-Erie Canal with its accompanying Towpath Trail.

In season, Foote's sweet corn is the best around, and at this time of the year their greenhouse is filled with multicolored flowers and row after row of vegetable plants. In the attached store you can buy fruits and vegtables as well as fantastic fruit pies that alone are worth a trip (we picked up an apple-walnut one while we were there).

View down the aisle showing vegetables and flowersThe greenhouse in spring is a gorgeous place, filled with hanging baskets of flowers alongside tables covered with blooms. It was steamy hot inside and quite noisy because of a strong breeze whipping the plastic coverings on the roof and walls.

It was hard to pass up all the flowers, but we were on a mission: skip aisles 2 and 3, and head for Vegetables and Herbs. I bought yellow, red and purple peppers, four different kinds of tomatoes, and a couple of eggplants. We added basil, dill, parsley and cilantro, giving us potential for lots of tasty meals this summer.

So as I write this, $60 worth of vegetable seedlings are waiting for me out back. If the weather cooperates tomorrow I'll be digging holes, filling them with compost from our compost heap, and getting the newly-expanded garden started for the summer.

Foote's is about ten miles south of downtown Cleveland, on Canal Road just north of Rockside. They don't have a website, but you can call 216-524-3757. To get your favorite flavor of pie, call two hours in advance and they'll bake one (or more) for you.

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MAY 2008

APRIL 2008