Bergman’s Vegetable Stand and Greenhouse – Lakeside Heritage of Quaintness
In a tourist area, hardly anything stays the same for long. Bergman’s is part of the heritage. The current owner has been running the nursery facilities for so long, that plants have become like babies that need tender loving care. With all the boats, and planes, and trains of the tourist trade, anything organic is a refreshing change.
Mrs. Bergman’s Babies
Around Lakeside Marblehead, the Bergman family still grows produce in the abundant fields surrounding the quaint vegetable stands. Bright red apples on wooden signs catch the eye of passersby, but this is only a rich detail. Almost everyone visiting Lakeside area notices the wonderful displays of vegetables and flowers. Bergman’s steps up to the plate preserving the history of a long standing family enterprise.
Locals put in orders for Mrs. Bergman or her daughter to have ready in the springtime. At a time during a bygone day she’d leave the door to the produce section ajar and she operated on the honor system for the locals.
The fertilizers were organic for a long time, as she allowed fishermen to throw scraps of the catch into a compost bin. The results came in the form of the most beautiful, healthy nursery products. The finished results of flat after flat displayed abundantly in multiple rows signaled the coming of spring. Well into her eighties, Mrs. B roasts her own peanuts in an iron pot belly stove that’s been around even longer than she has.
She’s a tiny framed widow who lost her husband a few years back. Still very clear minded, she runs her operation flawlessly with the help of her daughter and a handful of loyal employees. Sporting a stylish hairdo, there isn’t a gray hair to be seen on her head. She’s got a nearly flawless complexion, and walks a perfectly graceful stride.
Lately she has gotten very attached to her plant starts – almost as if these were her babies. The zucchini starts were sold out quickly this year. So, Mrs. B started a new batch to compensate. Always a late bird, I couldn’t find the zucchini plants anywhere, so I asked her assistant for help. Mrs. B overheard me and beckoned. We walked all the way to the back of greenhouse number four, and there were her babies. Before she would let me buy them, she had to explain that the tertiary growth had not begun yet. From there came a complete set of instructions qualifying the forward movement of selling me one or two of these plant babies.
Later, I went there looking for dill. I like to have the dill plants mature early because I mix up pickling brines ahead of time. That way, when the avalanche of ripening produce hits, I’ll be ready for canning. When I asked about the dill, I got the advice that it’s too soon for dill yet, because it would be ready to harvest too soon. It’s a fast growing herb.
“Aren’t there any seeds I could get?” I asked.
“No,” she answered. And her assistant confirmed.
Amused, but still wanting my dill, I went back to the tent with the seed display. Searching, searching up and down the rack, I finally found them. The dill seeds were hidden at the very bottom of the display. They were tucked behind some flower seed packets. I was hoping Mrs. Bergman wouldn’t be there when I checked out with my packet of dill. I would have felt guilty if she knew I had not followed the earth mother’s advice.