of eggs and eggplants...

i come from a long line of green thumbs. my grandmother grew up in a nursery (the plant kind:) that is still family owned and the oldest florist in existence in lexington, kentucky... michler's:

"In 1869 a young man of 30 named Carl Michler came to the U.S. from Wuertenberg, Germany. Trained in floriculture and landscape gardening, he settled in to Lexington by 1897. In 1900, after receiving an inheritance from his brother Wilhelm, a famous scientist, Carl built the first of seven large greenhouses. According to Kerr’s History of Kentucky,1922...

'He (Carl Michler) had the real genius of a plant grower and his products came into immediate favor and there was a demand that made it difficult to keep his facilities expanding fast enough.'
In 1902 Carl began to develop the facilities at 417 East  Maxwell Street, which remain intact to this day. The business was then known as Michler Brothers, named for two of Carl’s active sons, Charlie and Louis." 

louis was my grandmother's father. after marrying my great-grandmother, carrie, they took over the florist and his brother took over the landscaping business. louis patented his own snapdragon, which has always been one of my favorite flowers. my own grandfather built one of the greenhouses that is still there. it is a very special place.

unfortunately, i can't say that i inherited any of this family talent. i have always had a tendency to doom houseplants just by looking at them! i spend a great amount of my time walking through botanical gardens (my favorite visit being the one in brooklyn with my mother's cousin john michler who runs the nursery now), but i can't imagine being able to reproduce such gorgeous greenery myself. living in new york city has of course added to my lack of experience. now that i have my own little half acre of land, i'm hoping to change that. i have no aspirations of greatness... just not total failure! so, this summer i dug out a little square of ground that i plan to expand on slowly. my husband and i are also slowly trying to figure out how to care for what is here, and look to the future and imagine what could be. the first thing we did when moving in was to plant a tree for each child... so they can feel a small connection to their heritage and know the pride of caring for a living thing. so far both trees are still alive too! so we are off to a good start!

above you can see the eggplants that i proudly pulled form my garden this week... they were delicious. try this wonderful dish my mom shared, that is how we always eat them (even my kids like it!). we have a few watermelons growing and hopefully (crossing my fingers) pumpkins.

we are also waiting for our first eggs, hence that part of the post title. it may not be for a while yet, but i can't help going out to check everyday just in case. this is especially true after a hawk went after my chickens the other day (they all made it) and i had to chase them out of the neighbors yard... where i stepped on an old rusty bar and then had to get a tetanus shot. ugh. i think some eggs would definitely make all of that worth it! i'll keep you posted.


Jenniffer said...

What a fascinating history your family has . . . I love hearing other people's stories. There is so much to be shared.
You may not be a greenthumb now, but who knows what may come of your half acre someday!

ImSoVintage said...

Wow, can't believe your eggplants have grown that much. They're beautiful. Love this post. You should post it to Michler's facebook page. I am sure John would love to see it.

Cary Walker said...

jennifer- thanks:) i guess everything gets easier with practice... let's hope!