Carson woman turns vegetable gardening into full-time affair
Sue Young started her first garden when she was 8 or 9 years old. Now, at 57, her house is full of budding vegetables, her atrium is growing greenery and peppers, and her yard is full of greenhouses and raised garden beds.
“You’ll see … everywhere, there are plants now,” Young said.
Her dogs lope leisurely around garden equipment, past growing heads of lettuce and dirt ready for planting.
“We’ve taken it to extremes,” Young jokes about her former hobby that now fills her life full-time and involves her husband, Marv.
A year before retiring as chief of the Bureau of Disability Adjudication for Nevada’s Rehabilitation Division, Young and her husband tried selling their vegetables at the Carson City farmers’ market. They now sell at the Carson City market and the South Reno Tamarack Junction market.
Young moved to Carson City in 1971, from Sacramento. She first lived in a duplex, but still managed to grow a garden. The Youngs’ house on East Clearview Drive is on little more than an acre, but has bloomed into a nursery with greenhouses, homemade “hoop houses” and separate growing areas for the unusual varieties of vegetables the couple specializes in.
Gardening keeps them busy in retirement, Young said.
“We decided it wasn’t going to support us, but it was going to be fun,” she said.
Young grows “anything that will grow here,” she said. “There are an awful lot of things you can grow here.”
The couple grows mostly greens, kale, chard, mustard, bok choy and broccoli, in varieties that people can’t normally buy at a local market. They also grow tomatoes, peppers, onions and other veggies and plants, and sell garlic and edible flowers at the market.
Everything is started from seed in the basement of their home and organically grown, using natural ways to ward off disease and insects.
During the summer, the Youngs awaken before dawn to pick fresh produce and spend all day at the market. This usually makes for an 18-hour day.
“It gets me outdoors,” Young said. ” I get to see it from seed to the final stage. That’s fulfilling. It’s good exercise, and it’s healthy. You know where it came from.”
Young has arthritis, and the activities keeps her supple, she said.
“It keeps you from sitting.”
IF YOU GO
What: Look for the Youngs’ booth at the Carson City Farmer’s Market
Where: Pony Express Pavilion, Mills Park
When: 3:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Aug. 27, beginning June 11