Planting this year? Buy local this spring! Stop out anytime from April to October to buy gorgeous plants and produce at Annie’s Garden and Green. Local Ann Bushman's greenhouse is located at 30975 Lincoln Road in rural Fort Atkinson. You will be glad you did. Ask about getting a Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) share for your family to enjoy fresh, healthy food often. Annie has been in business for about twenty years and turned her garden passion turned into a business and it has continued to grow. Ann’s husband Steve is also a big help coming up with creative garden ideas. They mainly carry herb and heirloom plants and fresh produce but she also makes her on dried tea and rubs. They are so much more than a greenhouse!
Living her dream keeps Ann busy from sunup to sundown most days, especially in the summer. All year round Ann is busy with her plants, from their two hoop houses for colder weather to summer gardens and in the late fall and winter busy concocting delicious teas and rubs for sale either that you can pick up at their Fort business or online.
“There were several reasons why I wanted to pursue this avenue. First, I love to garden and thought it was an awesome opportunity to do what I love, create an income, and stay at home with our 5 children. Secondly, the idea of becoming a successful and independent business person was and still is a driving force for taking my dream and turning it into reality,” explained Ann.
The perennials that Annie's carry have connections to herbs, and if you want to know more about herbs, this natural gardener is the one to ask. “I began to build my business on herbs and their uses. Maybe in some small way it is a memorial to my grandmother, as she was the one who introduced me to the herb lovage and it was her books I began thumbing through when I began to become intrigued with them,” explains Ann. You can schedule a group workshop while having a mouth watering evening at Annie’s “Grilling with Your Favorite Herbs” or schedule “Tea Thyme in the Garden” to get hands-on experience on how to create your own herbal tea. If you decide to schedule a learning workshop, please call at least two weeks in advance.
Ann says, “Gardening was once a means of survival for large families. It later became a hobby or a luxury for people. In today's economic uneasiness, gardening is once again becoming a means of survival. Life Cycle Gardening workshops are a great way to have fun while learning in the garden. Gardening is a good vehicle to teach children good eating habits, along with basic life skills. With sensatory activities and the innocent curiosity of a child, learning comes naturally in the garden.”
Ann says to ask yourself these questions: “Where is the food grown, raised or processed that you find in your local supermarket? When was the last time you tasted “real” food? How many hours has your “fresh” food traveled? Ann sells CSA shares, (Community Shared Agriculture) that can give you the healthy food you desire. Most farms in Annie’s CSA are organically or naturally grown, giving shareholders healthy and fresh food.’
Ann has a few helpful hints to pass along. A 4x4 garden is a great way to begin your gardening experience. When the cold weather plants are done, replant the warm weather plants in the same spot. Ann also recommends mulching to keep the weeds down and this way you can grow plants closer together with companion plants that help each other grow.
Stop by this summer and check out her display gardens with over 150 varieties of herbs planted in the gardens so you may use all of your senses to observe the herbs in a natural habitat. In the spring with the help of her hoop houses, herb plants and heirloom vegetables are harvested for the Road Side Stand or community shared agriculture. You can contact Ann at 563-534-7760 or visit the website. . If you would like to have a group demonstration, Anne can even do those! Happy spring!