INMAN- One deep breath in the Neufelds’ garden and its obvious the couple has a few onions in the ground. One glance at Neufelds’ garden and its obvious they have a few thousand onions growing near their rural Inman home.
Arnie Neufeld and his wife, Helen, cultivate nearly 8,000 onions each year in addition to the hundreds of peppers, tomatoes, green beans, cabbages, zucchini, eggplants, beats, snow peas and snow peas. The couple will plant green beans every two weeks to keep a continual supply to sell and will plant four to five crops of cucumbers each growing season.
The couple spends countless hours planting, watering, cultivating and selling their produce at the local farmer’s market and through wholesale venues. Gardening is more than a hobby for the couple, it’s a part-time job for both.
Both enjoy their time in the garden and the interaction with people that comes with selling the produce on weekends.
“It’s good therapy,” Arnie said. “Friday nights are a little hectic but it’s worth it.”
Arnie grew up working in the garden and has passed the passion for growing on to his three children who all work in some aspect of the horticulture industry. Owning his own garden also gives him the opportunity to try new produce varieties.
“I get to experiment, which is part of the fun,” Arnie said.
The chances don’t always pay off and sometimes Mother Nature has her own plan for the garden but the couple doesn’t let a bad crop deter them.
This year’s hectic and unpredictable weather caused the Neufelds to loose two crops of cabbage. But the couple didn’t mind planting a third round.
“We wanted some cabbage,” Arnie said.
Much of the couple’s garden will be harvested this summer. But the work will not end there, Helen said. The couple will double-crop much of their space with squash, pumpkins and a second crop of green beans.