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The Gardener

Freedom an' Whisky

By Nikolyn Williams

One of the things I’ve always loved about this area was it’s “Larger than life Characters”. When Woodrow first brought me up here, I was completely mesmerized, by how they lived life so robustly and seemingly without fear of anything.

I would be remiss if I didn’t include “Ken Darrel” aka as Ken Wood. I first met Ken years ago, that was the first time I’d ever seen a tire mounted inside the side of a pick up bed! I thought it was hysterical, but at the same time I thought it was absolute genius! He always had something, surprising or funny going on. I used to love to go and listen to him tell stories, I still do.

Last week, I was so busy I did’t have time to literally spit! I don’t even have time to be writing this now, but it is “Ken Darrel.”

Ken Kept calling me to come up to his garden, and pick cucumbers. When I got there what I saw was an immaculate yard and garden. Ken may need some therapy, because, I do believe he is obsessed.

I sat down beside a green bean bush and began picking. What I noticed right off the bat was that garden is Ken’s pride and joy, however I think he is more concerned with taking the fruits of his labor around to the neighbors on his green John Deere riding lawn mower. As I watched him driving down the block on that lawn mower, I fell over literally on the ground laughing, he looked just like a vegetable delivery version of what I suspect, George Jones looked like when he got his drivers license taken away, and was forced to drive the riding lawn mower to the beer joint. I was very young back then, but I’ll never forget that story.

Ken would crank that John Deere, and say I’ll be right back! As he ran folks literally down in the road to give them a bucket of squash! “I can’t stand to see food go to waste,” said Ken. “I give 80 per cent of this produce away! This is much better food than store bought.”

When I asked him who all he gave vegetables to his response was “Oh Hell, I just give it to whoever I see!” LOL!

We have several local gardeners, the great thing about them all is they are all so willing to share their harvest. I think that is a beautiful thing and in this case it was quite entertaining!

I’ve spent another entire summer in the Plum Thickets, and Grape Vines….There is certainly an ancient sacred, almost haunting feeling about harvesting your own food, and when it’s wild, there is something very personal and native about it.

Love Always,


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I love you wonderful insight into everyday things! Gifted!

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