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Published: 9/3/2013 - Updated: 7 months ago

WEED IT AND REAP

Rob and Ariel Scott: Earth is a great provider

Father, daughter team give 90% of produce away, including to Cherry St. Mission

BY TAHREE LANE
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Ariel, left, with a zucchini and her dad Rob Scott.  Ariel, left, with a zucchini and her dad Rob Scott.
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Name: Rob and Ariel Scott, quality operator at GM Powertrain and sophomore at Penta County Vocational School, respectively, living in Swanton.

Garden specs: A 27-foot circle, the same size as the pool I removed from that spot in spring 2012. I thought, look at all this open area, and it’s already weeded. My neighbors are amazed that the dirt under a pool has produced such an awesome garden the last two years. We’re near Oak Openings and the soil is sandy.

PHOTO GALLERY: Rob and Ariel Scott's garden of giving

When did you start gardening? I began with a smaller garden six years ago. The landscaping around the house is all perennials.

What do you grow? Zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, tomatoes (3 large varieties, and of course cherry tomatoes), cucumbers, purple cabbage, broccoli, sweet banana peppers, jalapeno peppers, and cayanne peppers.

What’s your favorite plant? It’s a toss-up between zucchini because I love seeing a large plant and product come from such a small seedling, and the cherry tomato because of its massive results. I once harvested more than 500 in a single picking! My 92-year-old grandmother, Mary Welch, lives with us and loves tomatoes. Ariel: I like broccoli and cukes.

Cherry tomatoes growing in the Scotts' garden. Cherry tomatoes growing in the Scotts' garden.
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Give us a tip: I apply two bags of Miracle-Gro via the screw-on applicator twice in the first week and the garden takes off. Then once every two to three weeks.

Hours spent gardening per week: In spring, about 10; later, three to four hours of watering and weeding.

Annual expense: Less than $100. I buy seedlings from a local farmer.

Challenges: The weeds. Where do they come from? Also, there’s a lot of stuff I don’t know about, such as what to do about powdery mildew on zucchini leaves and why the tomato plants didn’t take off as well this year. Ariel picked a cuke a couple of weeks ago and said it looked so good she wanted to bite in to it right away. Well, that led to a unscheduled orthodontist appointment as a wire was pulled out of its brackets on her braces. But hey, they’re only kids once.

Tomatoes grown by the Scotts.   Tomatoes grown by the Scotts.
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We’re proud of: I’m a single dad with custody, and the garden creates bonding moments. I do all the weeding and Ariel likes watering and harvesting, but weeding? No way. Last year I gave excess produce to my coworkers. This year, I reconnected with an old friend who lives in South Carolina. We text and have some long conversations and he suggested I read Proverbs (from the Bible); there’s quite a bit in there about helping the poor. I give away 90 percent of what we grow and this year, my daughter and I have been taking it to the Cherry Street Mission’s soup kitchen. I am proud to share my harvest with the homeless of Toledo. On the mission’s Web site it says their most-needed item is bottled water, and a friend gave me $20 to buy several cases of it, which we took down. Ariel: It’s good to give to people who don’t have what we have.

What I’ve learned gardening: The earth is amazing in what it can provide.

Contact Tahree Lane at tlane@theblade.com and 419-724-6075.



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