The garden at La Capretta first took shape in 2009 when Lynsi Pasutti came as an apprentice here. The first stages of the raised beds were primitive without any stone borders or regard to how the plants would come in later in the season. That first summer we had a lot of purple sage plants and Four O’clocks. Lynsi and I had a lot of fun creating that first garden, making a plaster sink to recycle clay, and devising a hanging system for canvases in the gallery. It was great to have a partner with whom I could stumble along.
In 2011 the garden needed a lot of help. We were fortunate enough to have Steffany Yamada return to the farm as a Smith Meadows apprentice. With years of experience on vegetable farms, she was a perfect consultant and planner for the 2012 growing season. We wanted to make the garden a contemplative space, but also incorporate herb production for Smith Meadows Kitchen. To fulfill this we planted 200 genovese basil, 24 thai basil, 100 green garlic chives, 10 rosemary bushes, 12 garlic bulbs and an early planting of 24 cilantro plants. The list seems plentiful and long, however, it was still not enough to fill our larder for the kitchen. Happily our friends at Waterpenny Farm, Shenandoah Seasonal, Vine Ripe Farm, Potomac Vegetable Farm, Twin Springs and more have a healthy production of all the ingredients we are lacking.
Since the plants began growing in earnest, I have been knee deep in the zen experience of weed garden, cut herbs and mow lawn. I am happy in my straw hat, long pants and sleeved shirts, but it won’t be sad to see the frost arrive with all my ideas for paintings, drawings and another studio tour that have been put on hold. Stay tuned for more developments.