Elsie had long been retired and frankly, bored. Her husband, Frank, played golf most days or spent the time in his garage working on his old car. What was she supposed to do? Climbing into her 70s, she was getting tired of reading, and television had lost its charm a long time ago. If only there was something simple and fun she could do that would get her off the couch and get her outside. And you know, maybe she could make some money at it. She had never lost her entrepreneurial sprit.
It was one day sitting on the back porch looking at the vast backyard that she got an idea. Frank frequently complained about having to mow the whole thing in the hot sun. Maybe she could do something with it. She decided to grow an herb garden. It’d not only get her out of the house and put her skills to work, but also, herbs could help Frank and her live a more natural and healthier lifestyle. Plus she knew her neighbors would want to buy some too! Before she knew it, she’d be in the herb business.
After paying Tommy and Dennis Fitzgerald from down the street to help her build a mini-greenhouse/raised bed, she got to work planting the herbs. She decided to do a few culinary herbs and then a few medicinal ones as well. She wanted to grow basil, chives, chamomile, and St John’s Wort.
Everyday she’d work out in her mini-greenhouse while Frank labored over his car or practiced his golf swing in the backyard. Some days Frank would get a little jealous and come over and help her work, watering the plants and applying the liquid seaweed to help give them the nutrients they needed. Eventually, Frank’s friends started to get jealous too as Frank occasionally passed on playing golf and instead helped Elsie out in her mini-greenhouse. They’d work diligently while making each other laugh and smile. Elsie felt in the best health of her life, getting all that exercise while being outside and enjoying the fresh air.
Eventually the herbs were grown and the ones she and Frank weren’t going to use were ready to be sold. They put up flyers around the neighborhood and soon the customers were stopping by, and leaving with a plant or two.
People were coming from all over the neighborhood to see the herbs Elsie and Frank had grown. After all, Elsie was feeling revitalized by these new herbs and what they did for her health, both physical and mental. Maybe they could get these benefits too! Spouses or family members less interested in herbs could spend time in Frank’s corner, swinging a few golf clubs or checking out his 1958 Corvette. It became the center of the whole block.
That winter Elsie and Frank were relaxing in their living room, and they smiled and shared stories of the previous growing season, of their successes in the herbal business. After a moment Frank’s eyes grew serious. “I think I’m going to give up golf,” he said, furrowing his brow. Elsie was alarmed. “Why?” she asked. “Well, maybe I’ll play once a month. Frankly, my joints aren’t what they used to be. But really, I want to spend more time with you. Next year’s herb garden is going to be twice as big and four times as successful, and I want to help.” Elsie smiled and so did Frank. They had found a new passion they could share together.
If your retirement income could use a herbal boost, be sure to read Growing Herbs for Profit, that includes the best culinary and medicinal herbs to grow and download information for free mini-greenhouse and raised bed plans.