Thinking out of the PotScott Vesterstein, owner of Sydney’s Green Garden and the Fitger’s Brewery Complex, just wanted the perfect pickle.
By: Beth Probst with photographs courtesy of Scott Vesterstein, Living North
Scott Vesterstein, owner of Sydney’s Green Garden and the Fitger’s Brewery Complex, just wanted the perfect pickle. “I had this great pickle recipe and I thought to myself, the only thing that’d make it better would be to grow my own vegetables.”
The problem? Space.
“I looked at the limited green space in my yard,” he said. He thought “this isn’t going to work.”
In search of an alternative, he tried container gardening on his driveway. He was met with skepticism. “I was told it wouldn’t work. The containers would be too shallow, the driveway is too warm, and on and on.”
By harvest time, “I had 10 containers and harvested enough produce to can more than 100 jars of pickles,” Vesterstein said. “I guess it worked.”
Vesterstein’s love for gardening has flourished into a side business
focused on making gardening accessible for all. He named the business Sydney’s Green Garden after his daughter. The main product sold is a garden kit with 12 gardening containers, 15 packs of high-quality vegetable seeds, plant identification stakes, a rain gauge, and a planting guide. This year, in addition to the basic kit, Vesterstein hopes to add seeds for salad greens, herbs and potatoes.
The total space needed to grow 15 varieties of vegetables totals a mere 16 feet, he said. The kit also simplifies the entire gardening process while practically guaranteeing success.
“Gardening in containers is extremely easy,” Vesterstein said.
“What people plant will grow.” Better yet, weeds will not. Vesterstein
says he spends much less time weeding that he would in a conventional garden.
Vesterstein is committed to giving back to the community through the venture. In 2010, he donated 20 kits to the Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank and hopes to do the same this year.
He spends time in classrooms teaching children how to grow gardens, even one vegetable at a time. He also provides free workshops about the benefits of container gardening. For him, urban gardening is the future of food.
His garden has grown slightly from its humble beginnings nearly 10 years ago. Last year his garden had 195 containers – not bad for someone who considered himself a complete novice when he put his first one in.
The best payoff, he said, is that his daughter has replaced candy with carrots and sugar with sweet peas – all because she now has easy access to home-grown food.
Nothing tastes better than vegetables from the garden. There is a big difference in taste between what you buy at the grocery store and what you grow yourself. The vegetables you purchase in a grocery store have
been genetically modified to withstand a long trip in a refrigerated truck and still look great when they arrive at the store. What is sacrificed is taste. By consuming homegrown vegetables, you will be eating
nutritious, pesticide-free produce.
Many of the problems people think are created by deer are actually caused by rabbits or chipmunks. The chicken wire will create a barrier for these animals. Whatever you decide to use, don’t use deer netting. This is unsafe for smaller animals which get caught in the netting and can die.
For more information:
Sydney’s Green Garden kits are available at:
Fitger’s Book Store