|Greens are only the beginning...|
Lisa Thayer is proud of her early-May greens, and coming later are the summer crops; e.g. 'Pink Girl,' 'Whopper,' and 'Lemon Boy' tomatoes, Juliette red-and-yellow pear tomatoes, New Zealand spinach, peppers, and squash.
Carl and Lisa grow some extra-special pumpkins for fall. These were set aside for a family to take to Texas for the holidays. The small blue-green one in front is 'Jardale', an Australian variety, the flat orange 'Cinderella', a French variety; and at its right is 'Autumn Buckskin'. The large, ribbed pumpkin at left is 'Fairytale' and the tall oval one a Connecticut Field Pumpkin. Behind that one are another 'Jardale' and two 'Fairytales'.
The Thayers' early-summer crops include this beautiful asparagus. On the way: raspberries, blueberries, and melons galore--'Desert King,' a yellow-meated watermelon; 'Buttercup,' a seedless yellow; and 'Sugar Baby,' small and extra-sweet.
|How sweet it is...|
Carl and Lisa also grow this 'Bodacious' variety of sweet corn, which sells so fast that after only two hours at the Farmers' Market on one recent morning, these were the last six ears of an entire trailerload. Why is 'Bodacious' so popular? Well, for one thing, it's 2-3 times sweeter than regular sweet corn, according to Gurney's Seed.
|Beautiful but hot|
"These are all hot peppers," warned Lisa. The Thayers grow both sweet and hot peppers, including an extra hot one for a restaurant that prepares Caribbean dishes. "That pepper's hotter than the habanero," she said.
Perhaps the most popular winter squash, Butternut squash is famed for rich orange flesh and extra-sweet flavor. Ozarks cooks can tell you about using butternuts in everything from soups to salads to...well, just ask 'em, they'll tell you.
|More crops and some fun|
The Thayers' crops include 'Galia,' a green-meated melon; 'Athena,' an outstanding cantaloupe; and special pumpkins--blue, white, buckskin, and giant. Here Lisa appears to be taking pride in another talent, creating painted gourds.
|Lotions and candles|
Lisa also makes her own scented lotions and candles. Oh, and she made the birdhouses, too.
|Color in the garden|
Another crafty Lisa Thayer item: tie-dyed bandanas.
When it comes to craftsmanship, Carl Thayer clearly holds his own in making these custom garden stepping stones.
|More color in the garden|
Some of the Thayers' garden stepping stones undergo a startling transformation when Lisa handpaints them in acrylics.
More of Lisa Thayer's dressed-up stepping stones. She readily admits she doesn't know yet if the acrylics will take foot-traffic, but then, that may not be the point.
The Thayers are nothing if not colorful. "Wait'll you see the shirt I'm wearing this Saturday," said Carl. Come Saturday, there it was, and here it is.
|Double your pleasure?|
One last Thayer Farms surprise this go-round: "Siamese twin" tomatoes that showed up on the vine in August.