Name: Trevin Haar, a junior at Penta Career Center where I’ll take the second-year landscaping class, living near Woodville.
Garden specs: A one-acre lot owned by my father, Scott Haar, is about a mile from my house in the middle of a soybean field. Surrounding our house I have a 30-by-30 and a 15-by-15-foot garden, plus a few smaller plots. The land has been in the family of my stepfather, Phil Kerbel, since 1835. His father has the deed, signed on buckskin by President Andrew Jackson.
When did you start gardening? When I was about 11, I started taking care of a 3-by-3-foot garden that my mom had planted. Each year, I did more. My father farms soybeans, corn, and wheat, and I’ve learned a lot from working with him. I’d like to be a vegetable farmer with about 200 acres someday.
PHOTO GALLERY: Trevin Haar's gardens
What do you grow? In the gardens near the house: pumpkins, red Chinese lettuce, lemon cucumbers (they’re yellow and round), peas, ornamental gourds, cantaloupe, and strawberries my grandmother gave me. The acre was bean stubble when I worked it up last fall. During the winter I started making maps for what I was going to plant where. I worked the soil up again in the spring. I put in 100 broccoli seedlings but most of them were damaged by too much rain, 650 tomatoes (two large varieties similar to beefsteaks), peppers (bell, sweet banana, jalapeno), 150 cucumbers and 150 watermelons from seed, Indian and sweet corn, squash (yellow and spaghetti), green and yellow beans, sweet and Indian corn, onions (candy and Spanish Medallion). I just planted carrots a few weeks ago so they’ll come in late. After the July 10 storm, the corn was down on the ground but it became upright again. Beans got so much rain the leaves turned yellow, but they’re greening up. Some tomatoes got early blight. The wind partially uprooted the peppers so now they’re growing crooked; I thought I’d have to stake them but they look like they’ll be all right. Overall it’s really good.
Favorite plant: Cucumber.
Give us a gardening tip: Weed and hoe every couple of days. And spray for bugs. I keep maps of what is planted where, when I planted it, and how many days to fruition.
Hours spent gardening per week: Forty. In spring, maybe 30 hours, from after school until dark. I also drive the grain cart when my dad is harvesting wheat. I leave at 7:30 a.m. and get home about 10:30 p.m.
Annual expense: About $200 for seedlings and seeds. My acre lot is new this year so I don’t know the full cost yet.
Challenges: Pests and the weather; I can’t control them. I water by hand with a five-gallon bucket drawn from two 200-gallon tanks on a wagon I hauled with my truck to the acre lot. It takes three hours to water everything. But after all the rain we’ve had, there’s plenty of moisture in the ground and I shouldn’t need to water for a few weeks.
I’m proud of: How far I’ve come from starting with a 3-by-3-foot garden. Next year I’ll expand the acre and plant more cukes and onions.
What I’ve learned gardening: About plant diseases. The differences in soils [in the soybean field it’s silty loam; by the house it’s sandy. In low areas where rain water stood, the pumpkins died. Chicken fertilizer: Hot peppers in our former chicken coop just took off growing like crazy. We had a vegetable stand in front of our house where I sold produce, and I sell at three nearby farmers’ markets [Gibsonburg, Lindsey, and Oak Harbor], so I’ve learned how to interact with people. I am normally on the shy side. I like being outdoors, being in the fields.
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