Old Town couple grows tomatoes, watermelon, wheat
For volleyball athletes, gardening at home is fun
Admittedly, some of what Ann Olson and Chris Stanley grow in their front-yard garden at 15th Avenue and Cedar Street is just for fun.
Lining their lawns brown wooden fence, for example, is a neat row of wheat that provides eye- and hand-candy for passersby. If they wanted to, Olson said, we could make two loaves of bread with it, but we mostly just keep it because it looks cool and people talk about it with us so much.
They walk by and run their fingers through it because its so fuzzy in the spring.
Then theres the 15-foot-tall beanstalk climbing up a trellis and the pot of Hopi tobacco in the back yard. Its not for smoking! said Olson.
But most of the garden is for food. For me its all about the taste, she said.
The couple first met in 1984 at the Olympic Training Center at Colorado Springs, where they both played volleyball. Nowadays when Olson and Stanley pick tomatoes and watermelon, its partly for the exercise and partly for the food.
Physical labor is fun for us and we like the food, said Olson.
Over the past 30 years Olson, 59, and Stanley, 68, have learned to grow everything from green beans and pumpkins to parsley and popcorn.
You put in a little money and you get so much from it, said Olson. Where else can you get Sweet 100 tomatoes this good? Not out of a grocery store, thats for sure.
Whether its for eating or just for seeing, everything Olson and Stanley grow is organic. Its more for the taste, repeated Olson. I grow these kakai pumpkin seeds that are 100 times better than the ones in the store. When people taste them they just go nuts.
Whats nuts is that nobody has stolen anything except a few minutes of the couples time to chat. Its an icebreaker. People stop by and talk a lot, said Olson, a native of Los Angeles, where its not quite as friendly.
We keep saying that well cut back as we get older but we havent done it yet, Olson said. I like the exercise and I like the food. Its my nature therapy.Add a comment