LAKE SAN MARCOS, Calif. — A couple that gardens together stays together. In this Zevely Zone, I visited Lake San Marcos where a husband and wife are helping their neighbors find common ground.
Herb and Deb Field are not only sharing a life together, but they're also sharing bumper crops with their community. "We have broccoli here and you can see we have a broccoli head that is coming up here," said Herb while giving me a tour of their garden. "We have brussel sprouts here, we have squash right now. You can see garlic is coming up," said Herb. "We have cabbage here. We have cauliflower here, in fact here is a cauliflower that is starting to come up."
When Herb and Deb Field met in college, a love for each other and gardening started to grow. Forty-nine years of marriage and three children later, their family and garden continue to flourish.
"Everything we grow, we grow to eat," said Herb. Or share with local food banks and neighbors. "I just feel it is the right thing to do," said Deb.
The Field family also hosts what they call 'seedling parties' twice a year. "The spring one, the line went all of the way down the driveway and up the street," said Herb. "The main thing is trying to get people to grow organic gardens and feed themselves through that."
The Fields are totally organic gardeners, able to grow supersized plants with a special mix of soil that turns kale into, "Basically a tree and the funny part is this is only two years old," said Herb. "You can bite right into that." Usually, I am not a big fan of kale but the sample I tasted was a bit sweet.
Herb may have a green thumb, but I have a green smile. "This is my kale smile," I said with my teeth covered with kale. Something Herb couldn't appreciate.
Making gardening even more challenging for Herb, he is completely color blind and can only see in shades of grey. Imagine picking fruit from a lemon tree when you cannot see color. Which one do you pick? That's when he calls Deb and she says pick a yellow one not a green one. "Without Deb I would be eating strange and unusual fruit definitely," said Herb.
As for the name Herb Field. "It's not a joke," said Deb. "It's a real name," said Herb. "You know the number one thing people ask me is, 'is Herb Field, your real name?' Because people think that Herb Field is a made-up name, and they want to know what it is, and I say it could have been worse if my parents could have called me baseball."
Which could have worked because what this couple grows and a gives away is a Herb and Deb Field of dreams. "Anyone who visits the garden goes home with food," said Deb.
"This is the roasted Tomatillo salsa. This is pickled beats with onion," said Herb while sending me home with goodies.
The Fields grow 45 different types of food. They say organic gardening isn't just healthy but can add years to your life.
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