New Hope Man Keeps Alive His Farming Past
Jim Johnson was a farmer in South Dakota before moving to New Hope some 20 years ago. Even though the gardening season is winding down, he’s still planting crops.
“If it’s a vegetable, I grow it,” said Johnson.
Farming is still in his blood. All you have to do is look around his garden. Rows of squash, carrots, lettuce, tomatoes, and beans occupy half his yard. His signature crop is sweet onions — 375 onions were picked out of his yard.
“I grow them like softballs,” he said. Once the onions are harvested, he goes right back to work, planting squash and other veggies in their place. Johnson is expecting to get a bumper crop of radishes.
He uses a unique method to plant seeds.
“I call it speed planting,” explained Johnson. “You sprinkle the seed around, and if you work your rake right, you can incorporate the seed and the soil. You can plant a lot of stuff real fast.”
Johnson spends hours tending to his yard, but it’s something he loves doing.
“It’s kind of like a painting. You did something,” said Johnson. “I like to kick back in the evening, maybe have a beer or something, and look at what I did.”
Giving away his gardening goodies makes him happy, too. “I like to feed people,” he smiles.