There is a certain irony in the fact that I am writing the Farmer’s Daughter series which takes place on Love Blossom Farm in the fictional Michigan town of Lovett. I didn’t grow up on a farm and my gardening skills can best be described as “limited.”
The suburb where I grew up is much more built up now but back then there was actually a very small farm about two miles away where they grew corn and sold it at a roadside stand. The highlight of the summer was those first ears of fresh Jersey corn.
My grandparents had a fair amount of property behind their house and grew lots of vegetables (tomatoes, tomatoes and more tomatoes!), fruits and herbs. The air around their house always smelled of basil and now when I smell the herb I’m immediately transported back to their home. My grandfather even grew grapes for the wine he made himself.
Sadly the green thumb wasn’t passed to me. I had good luck with tomatoes one year and the next year…not so much. I think I harvested three tomatoes from two plants. I did manage some herbs and my small lavender “starter” plant actually grew into a bush.
And mint! Note to self: next time plant mint in a container not in the ground! I had enough mint to make mint juleps for the entire county! And lemon balm, too. But I must say our yard smelled heavenly when the breeze blew over my herb garden!
So a lot of research went into this series—I spent a fair amount of time looking up growing seasons and what might be planted/growing/reaped in which month in the Mitten State. I learned about canning, storing root vegetables for the winter and even cheese making.
It was tons of fun, and I hope you’ll have as much fun reading “Bought the Farm!”
ABOUT PEG COCHRAN
Peg Cochran is the national bestselling author of No Farm, No Foul; the Cranberry Cove Mysteries; and the Gourmet De-Lite Mysteries.