The Edmond Sun

August 2, 2013

The Backyard Farmer makes raising produce elementary

He sows, homeowner reaps the rewards

Patty Miller
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated to reflect the correct spelling of The Backyard Farmer's first name. The Sun apologizies for the error and any inconvenience to our readers.

By combining his love of landscaping and agriculture, one Edmond man has a business that uses both of his talents.

Galt Ormiston, The Backyard Farmer, which by the way also is the name of his produce stand located in north Oklahoma City, has a new angle on his produce business. In addition to selling vegetables, fruits and herbs, he also sells plants for the home gardener.

Ormiston now creates, builds and sells mini vegetable, fruit and herb gardens that he customizes for clients from apartment dwellers to home owners.

Ormiston custom builds to the specifications of the customer and the raised beds can include different tiers. with the option of a maintenance program offered.

“I construct raised planters to any height and provide the plants for the garden,” Ormiston said. “The planters also can include an irrigation system if requested, and I can set up a schedule to tend to the garden so all the people have to do is go out and pick their crops.”

“The maintenance program is planned according to what the customer wants and it is for the customers who have tried gardening and find it too intimidating or they have tried and failed.

Ormiston said the raised planters are rough cedar wood construction and the height usually falls between waist and knee so the planters are accessible to wheelchair-bound individuals. He added insect and pest control are not as big of an issue with the planter raised.

“The raised beds are really functional,” Ormiston said. “What I have is a pre-designed 10 by 10 foot space. In that square are two planters raised off the ground with my own soil mixture and planting is one cost. If you want to sign up for a maintenance program our most frequent visit is twice a month. You should get a lot of output.

“A hoop structure can be added built from rebar and a shade cloth can be placed over the planters in the summer and in the winter plastic can be hung to keep the plantings warmer.

This time of the year people are really hesitant about planting things but you can for sure there is still time for summer planting of crops to produce until the fall, Ormiston said.

“For the people out there wanting to do some gardening, we have mature eggplant, squash, tomatoes, watermelon, cucumber and okra plants that can just be transplanted into the garden,” Ormiston said. “We also have blackberry, raspberry and strawberry plants available and there is plenty of summer left for them to develop into a good harvest.”

Strawberries need a pollinator, Ormiston said, and for gardeners who have had a slight harvest for their strawberries a different strawberry to cross pollinate is necessary.

“I have two different types of strawberry plants and one is an ever-bearing strawberry plant that would be good to add to a strawberry patch that is not producing,” Ormiston said.

Although all types of gardening plants are now available for purchase, fall gardening plants including head lettuce, mustard, onions, spinach and kohlrabi  will be available the middle of September.

Ormiston is an Edmond Memorial graduate and attended the University of Central Oklahoma and graduated from Oklahoma State University.

The Backyard Farmer is located in the parking lot of the Shoppes at Northpark on the corner of North May Avenue and Northwest 122nd Street. Ormiston is offering fresh, Oklahoma grown produce as well as a one-stop shop for do-it-yourselfers to buy fruits, vegetables and herb plants. He will close from Jan. 1 through March 21, and open again April 1. Ormiston is taking orders for the raised gardens for those who want backyard farms. The produce stand is open from 3-7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. The Backyard Farmer can be reached at 313-4258 or gaultormiston@hotmail.com or facebook at thebackyardfarmerokc.