Dave Ripperda prepares for the farmers' market
Glenda McGaffee

Dave Ripperda, Hills, usually spends six to eight hours per day six days a week maintaining his gardens in Hills and Luverne.

His growing season begins in February when he plants seeds, placing them in a sunny window on a table with grow lights.

This year, he’s growing tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, cabbages, broccoli, carrots, radishes, cauliflower, peppers, green and yellow beans just to name a few of the items. Other items include dill, zucchini and Red Swan yellow beans.

In May, a killing frost took 40 tomato plants, which he replanted.

In Hills near his house Ripperda uses “square foot gardening,” a system of laying out, planting and maintaining a productive, attractive garden in any amount of space.

Located in various sections of the garden are marigolds, which help keep the bugs away.

Ripperda said he plans to sell his garden produce, along with his canned goods, “Austin’s Family Garden,” at the Hills farmers market.

Austin is his son who assists in canning these products. Some of the canned items sold are Dilly Beans, Rhubarb Strawberry Jam, Dill Pickles and Spicy Mixed Pickles.  

His wife, Kris, also enjoys gardening and is in charge of the flowers.

Ripperda credits his knowledge of gardening to his extensive reading and the assistance of Hills local nursery owners Bob and Del Walraven of Wally’s Nursery.

Ripperda’s booth can be found at the Hills Farmers Market on Saturdays, starting from 9 to 11 a.m. July 26. He also sells his produce at the Luverne Farmers Market on Thursday evenings.

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