310. Cindy Ondish | Master Gardener • Listener | Conneaut, Ohio

Hi Jackie!

I am a new listener who has been (vegetable) gardening all my life & in the last few years added fruit trees to my repartee. I live in NW PA, tho my garden is about 30 miles away in Conneaut, Ohio, a few blocks South of Lake Erie. I listened to the show with Melissa K. Norris today & enjoyed it very much. I will definitely be listening more! (& I entered the book give away, too!)

Keep up the good work!

Cindy Ondish

Tell us a little about yourself.

The way this weird situation started is a long story

where I live in NW PA I had a garden

trees grew up

we live amongst woods

My garden got worse and worse eveyryeareveryyear

tomato plans around my house

separate from this

my husband bought a place

boat garage

lot with weeds taller then me

hacked them down with a cycle

he noticed there was an asparagus

there’s where my garden is

the ground is like a gardener’s dream

person who owned it before was friends

there’s my garden

I resisted the whole thing a bit of the time

nothing grows at my house because there is no light

we’re there all the time in the summer

we cleared an acre out of the woods 

some of it I want to turn back to woods

didn’t want to cut anymore down

such a gradual thing

I will

always had tomato plants around the house

pepper plants

pots on the deck

it was ok

I guess if I do raised beds

right in the middle of the lawn

gradual thing


how wonderful this stuff grows


I came from an Italian family

everyone grew tomatoes

which is weird

we canned teammates

we ate a lot of pasta

that’s all I really knew

he came over on the boat from Italy

knew about other plants

my first garden

out of college

live in an apartment and stuff

as soon as I had space

I did 

I have a lot of house plants

I have kind of a green thumb

good place to grow then at that time

I grew corn

whole range of things, my family never grew

so nice

feel like you can take care of yourself


I am going to the store

can it

grow it and can it

as I had my children 

got bigger

trying to feed them

knew what I was feeding 

Tell me about your first gardening experience?

How did you learn how to garden organically?

Tell us about something that grew well this year.


I was head over heels in love with parsnips

always had good luck growing parsnips

I know now my garden was such clay

even thought I tried to work things in it

if they dry out

once they dry out they’re dead

old timer

teaching me how to grow parsnips

never eaten a warship

boiling water on them

board over top

never did the top

mine would grow

because my ground was so nasty and wet

so I have been trying to grow them in my good garden


mulching them

could not get parsnips to grow

bummed out of it

more that I read

what do I have to lose

let them start sprouting on the sink

tedious job of picking up the sprouts

biggest most beautiful

start them first 

plant them

plant them

pour boiling water over the row

seeds make them float to the top

waxy coating that has to get through the coating

worked because my ground was so wet

didn’t drain

new garden is drains 

my husband introduced them to me

cravings for them


bounty of parsnips

we started out

my husband cooks everything starting with a stick of butter

long pieces

cut out the center bitter center

fry them in a butter

carrots and potatoes

quicker then the carrots did

then I wanted to try

cutting them in kind f chunks

brushing them with butter

get them with a little crisp

brushed over the top of them

butternut squash

Is there something you would do different next year or want to try/new?

I’m just excited for the whole garden

minimize my tomato planting

end of the year

I have tomatoes rotting on the plants

do some trellising

last year I got some of that fencing that they use

orange fencing where they are tying to keep people way

I found some that was green!

plastic fencing

just do something on the chap

put up posts

big giant U

put tomato plants

I have been using stakes

never wove them through the fencing as they grew

shoots off

between the plants

sit between the rows

didn’t have to sit in the sun 

people laughed at me

beach umbrella


20 feet long

just wide enough for the beech umbrella

moved it along with 

Tell me about something that didn’t work so well this season.

Actually last year my russell sprints 

little tin

2 different spots

giant mulberry tree

shades late in the afternoon

cold weather plants like Brussels sprouts

didn’t get any cauliflower


watch how you rotate things

try to make sure my garden

make sure I don’t do that

good rule of thumb

above ground

different bugs you can get

started planted flowers in my garden too

bring the pollinators in

might eat

I don’t think I did last year

this year again

before I started my garden


minimal the things we had to 

how big is your garden

yes, I haven’t had a whole lot of luck with onions

I tried

haven’t had a lot of luck with that

use basil

don’t grow a lot of herbs

garlic a few years ago

whole education needed there

once you harvest your garlic

to process it

how do you do this

watch youtube videos

edu websites

pulled it 

cooked it

didn’t dry it

so that the stuff I initially used 

aired it for too long

dried up by the time I used it again


my garlic

it’s easy to grow it

have to know

Which activity is your least favorite activity to do in the garden?

I really don’t it almost hurts me to see things rotting on the vine

figure out what I want to grow

I’m not good at starting my own plants

that little thing I should probably throw it away

end up with way too many plants

control myself

plant what I think I can really harvest and use

hate to see things rotting

find a food bank or something

mixed result 

What is your favorite activity to do in the garden?

harvesting of course

with my fruit trees

I love to prune

I could weed all day long

suns going down

lost in pruning

an old throw cushion


make perfect kneeling pads

crazy expensive

use the boat fusion

handle on the side

take that around

as I am rooting



cold water

turn some music on

I’m good

music and water

something nice to 

What is the best gardening advice you have ever received?

I thought about this, I can not think of anything specific

find things myself

parsnip advice was good

I hear things

grow what you like to eat

things like try something new

I tried kohlrabi last year

I tried it and didn’t really care for it

cook looking to grow

specific gem I received from anyone

gardeners are such awesome people

share and help

just sitting to you and talking to other gardeners

good advice

something new to try

one thing

so many

A favorite tool that you like to use? If you had to move and could only take one tool with you what would it be.

about a 40 minute drive from my house

weather’s bad we hang out and play 

need to get there earlier in the day

not much of a morning person

before it gets really hot




A favorite recipe you like to cook from the garden?

actually I discovered

it is wonderful

you can eat it and not feel so bloated and heavy

I’ve been making that

you can use this with whatever

brocoli peppers


put in the pan with tomatoes

seem it

moisture in there

tomato will cook

pull the skins off the tomatoes

becomes like the base

sprinkle cheese over the top of it



mixing different vegetables

I have a little bit of this

A favorite Podcast?

I love Joe Gardener

he also has a tv show

ever Saturday

he has a really good podcast

you bet your garden

Mike McGrath

out of Philly

gets a call in show

you never know what you are going to hear

ask him questions you will 

topic of the day

A favorite internet resource?

penn state has a lot of ag things too

I look there

anything that ends in edu

more researched based


A favorite reading material-book, mag, blog/website etc you can recommend?

lasagna gardening

do layers on a raised bed

organic gardening magazine

Final question- if there was one change you would like to see to create a greener world what would it be? For example is there a charity or organization your passionate about or a project you would like to see put into action? What do you feel is the most crucial issue facing our planet in regards to the environment either in your local area or on a national or global scale?

My charity is arbor day

plant trees

we need to plant trees

and up 


try to 

not use so much plastic

really hard not to use plastic I’ve tried

minimize how things are just so throw away

cheaper to buy something new then get it fixed

do actually have a shoe maker that works out of his house

try to reuse whatever I can

globally we need to concentrate

everybody go out and vote and vote climate

we can do our own little thing

lot more of a global effort

us is kind of lagging as far as that goes we need to change that

plant trees

even lawns

acreage of lans then national park

took small part of their lawn

planted flowers

or milkweed for the monarchs 

something not grass

everybody could make a difference

combined would be a big

Do u have an inspiration tip or quote to help motivate our listeners to reach into that dirt and start their own garden?

I think scientific studies have shown that being out in nature is good for you


find to do that

growing flowers

go ahead if you want to grow

vegetables more my passion

grow whatever makes you feel good

never had a garden

been in the woods

experience where they don

t can’t even impinge being so separated from nature

be in the house

feel that connection

I’m a master gardener

grow peanuts 

lets’ all try it

I actually got peanuts

pulled the plants

they were good! They tasted like better

they were small

no they were easy to harvest

pull the plant

hang to dry

they didn’t all grow

How do we connect with you?

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About the author, Jackie Marie

I'm an artist and educator. I live at the "Organic Oasis" with my husband Mike where we practice earth friendly techniques in our garden nestled in the mountains of Montana.

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