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Posts Tagged ‘Trudi’s Garden: The Story of Trudi Temple’

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Goji berries, rustic outdoor furniture, antique carts, solar panels, country charm and ingenuity; all this and more at Cherry Lane Farm, which was opened to visitors as part of the McHenry County Farm Stroll.

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Trudi Temple is a well-recognized gardener, entrepreneur, author and speaker, especially in the Chicagoland area. I have had the pleasure of touring her private garden in the western suburbs, reading her inspiring book, “Trudi’s Garden; The Story of Trudi Temple”, and, like many of you, I have ordered from Market Day@, which Trudi established.

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Cherry Lane Farm was our first stop on the Farm Stroll, and we were one of the first visitors. We parked the car and followed a path that meandered through a woodland garden, which was cloistered inside a handmade waddle fence. Bird houses dangled from stately trees and perched upon tree trunks.

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Age-old benches and found objects, heirloom plants and new introductions abound on Trudi’s farm; a living testament to what hard work, creativity and sustainability can yield.

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We wandered the paths, some under the multitude trees rooted on the property, others leading to the vegetable garden, or the wide pasture where a wind turbine was generating energy. We sat in a magnificent gazebo – surely a haven for family and friends. With all the nature and creativity that surrounded us, what impressed me the most was the evidence of the far-reaching visions of Trudi Temple. She is a remarkable woman whose respect for nature continues to grow and instructs all who find their way to Cherry Lane Farm.

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A barn houses plant materials that Trudi uses in arrangements, as well as a shop for antiques, books, dried floral arrangements and other delights. An outbuilding is creatively sided with reclaimed windows of different sizes and shapes. Inside sit long tables, for workshops, I assume, and a patchwork of quilts adorn the walls.

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It was such a pleasant day.

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We bumped into three members of my garden club, all in groups of their own and all pointing or asking if we had seen this or that, enthusiastically sharing what they had discovered. Even strangers were friends for the moments in time at Cherry Lane Farm. It isn’t often that a piece of land and a crop of buildings is so lovingly developed  that it creates such a wholesome sense of place.

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I knew I would eventually read Trudi Temple’s Garden: The Story of Trudi Temple, Founder of Market Day. My dear friend Roz spoke highly of it when she read it right after visiting Trudi Temple’s farm with our garden club. Roz had offered me her copy, but, with a pile of books on my nightstand and a personal library abundantly full of books, I really didn’t need another book to read at the time. A few weeks ago, I was returning some books to the library and, well, you can’t go into a library and not at least look a little bit now, can you? I was actually looking in the gardening section for Beverley Nichols. While looking for Beverley, I happened upon Trudi and then spent a long, lazy Sunday afternoon reading about her.

Most people in my neck of the woods know Trudi Temple as the founder and the driving force behind Market Day@. What started out as a way to raise money for missions by selling flowers became one of the most widely recognized fundraising programs for school and church groups and a mainstay for busy parents to buy food and do good at the same time. This determined woman would travel from the suburbs to the flower and then produce markets in the City of Chicago, in the middle of night, alone, to pick out the best fruits and vegetables for Market Day. This innovative idea grew like topsy, and is now in nineteen states with a website and a store and a remarkable reputation. You can find out about Market Day here.

Trudi’s Garden has the outward look of a coffee table book. Don’t ever judge a book by its cover. While it is certainly full of beautiful photographs, it is really the remarkable story a young girl growing up in Germany during World War II.  With harrowing tales of a child of war – and a great deal of funny escapades a plucky young Trudi participated in, it is also a story of sorrow, determination, and inspiring resourcefulness, both in Germany as a child and young woman, and as a young bride immigrating to the states; raising a family and becoming a well known and respected gardener, an entrepreneur, and a giving woman whose passion to help those in need grew to heights she could never have imagined.

I’ve been to Trudi Temple’s garden on garden tours through the Wellness House . One only needs to say  “Trudi’s garden” here in the western suburbs and folks who like to get their fingers dirty know instantly whose garden is being referred to. I am so very glad Roz told me about the book and I am equally pleased that I had the time to read it as summer waned. It is as inspiring as it is informational, with tips on gardening and a few recipes slipped in here and there. If you have a chance, pick up a copy. You will be glad you did.

I have posted this photo before, and use it here again, as it is so expressive of what Trudi Temple’s garden, and Trudi herself as I grew to learn through book, is all about.

Trudi tells about ways she would get her daughters to help with the weeding. She told them to pick one hundred weeds a day. I tried the other day. Bent over so low that Tom did not see me there as he pulled into the drive and intent on the task at hand, I counted – one, two, three . . . In the end, I had four large piles of weeds and earned the satisfaction of a chore well churned. Of course, Trudi knew what she was doing in prompting her children this way. Like I am sure her children discovered at the end of the weeding, there were far more than one hundred weeds on the pile.

So, off I go to our rambling garden now, to pull a few more weeds. One, two, three . . .

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