Garden to TableJanie Tormaschy’s day starts early in the summer when she’s working in her garden east of Dickinson.
By: Linda Sailer, The Dickinson Press
Janie Tormaschy’s day starts early in the summer when she’s working in her garden east of Dickinson.
She’s either pulling weeds or harvesting vegetables for the farmers market.
“When I wake up in the morning, she’s down in the garden already,” her husband Paul Tormaschy said. “She likes gardening and the fresh air outside — I guess it’s the farm life she likes.”
The Tormaschy’s granddaughter, Maddy Borsheim of Cottage Grove, Minn., has been visiting for several weeks. Maddy’s cousins, Atlanta and Cassidy Tormaschy of Dickinson, come to help as needed. Sometimes, they spend the night at the farm.
“I did get them up at 5:30 one day, but they were really good about helping,” Janie said. “I pick early in the morning and in the evening after the shade falls on my garden — it’s just too hot through the day and I can’t handle the sun on my head.”
Janie also relies on her daughter, Sonya, as well as friends who help harvest or sell the produce.
Gardening is a labor-intensive work — from the planting and weeding to the picking, washing, pricing and packing, she said.
“The weeds are in full force — they’ve been awful, awful,” Janie said. “But that keeps me down at the garden. I guess I need an iPod to listen to music.”
Paul is responsible for the tilling the garden and applying the fertilizer — manure produced on the farm.
He also sees that the sprinkler system is working properly. They have several wells on the farmstead, one well is dedicated to the garden.
“The most important thing to a garden is the water,” Paul said. “We used to have a community well in the 1800s — people came from Gladstone to get water.”
The garden is grown mostly organically, but Janie powders the cabbage family to cut down on the insects.
“The insects have been terrible this year,” she said. “And it did freeze Memorial Day weekend, which was really a bummer. I had to replace my beans and cucumbers.”
Her garden is producing vegetables such as cucumbers, onions, kohlrabies and beans.
The peppers are coming into season, which will be followed by the corn and tomatoes.
The chokecherry trees also are loaded with fruit this year, so Janie and the girls have been picking the cherries to sell or else to use as jelly.
Janie joined the farmers market 12 years ago. Ten vendors are registered, but not all participate at every sale, she said.
Sales are 10 a.m. Tuesdays and Saturdays in the parking lot of the Dickinson Charities, 67 21st St. E.
“There’s more demand this year — it’s a rush and that’s good,” she said.
The out-of-staters are surprised at how small the farmers market is compared to their markets back home, but Janie believes the supply meets the demand.
“We do have a floor price that everybody is supposed to go by; otherwise, we’re undercutting each other,” she said.
Janie gardens for the extra income it generates, but it also gives her pleasure to raise vegetables for the community.
“People are happy to get them — I hope I’m picking good vegetables for them,” she said.