Eric Ferguson doesn’t mind being Mr. Mom to his four children. After all, it gives him more time to spend with his kids and to get them involved in his passion for gardening.
It’s a passion that has continued to grow even since he and his wife Denise moved to Ocean Avenue from East Boston a few years ago. He doesn’t know where the gardening bug came from. His mother’s friend had one in Eastie and his father had a small one. Then he met Gina Scalcione, who was involved in the community gardens. Since then he has soaked up an amazing amount of information from other gardeners and the Internet.
His yard is maze of container gardens, raised beds, flowers, vegetables, fruit trees and more. This is the third season for the Ferguson garden. He uses no pesticides, keeps things organic. He used beneficial nematodes to fight grubs.
There are onions, radishes, potatoes, kale, arugula, parsley, collard greens, mustard spinach, asparagus, strawberries, peppers, heirloom tomatoes, Italian carrots and cabbage turnip. There are also blueberries, apples, peaches, plums and gooseberries. For his brewing pleasure he’s also growing hops. He’d like to plant and garden in the winter with a small gree
nhouse. He knows he’d get an extra four weeks of growing season if he did. Growing artichokes would be his first test. He’s already had success with a fig tree, plumera (the flowers used in Hawaiian lays), and turmeric he got from St. Lucia.
“The key is to keep the soil nourished,” Ferguson said. He’s also been at the senior center a few times helping people with 18 planting beds there. “I’d like to get over there more often.”
At eight years old April, a student at Immaculate Conception in Revere, knows every inch of the garden, she can name every plant, and she finds things like worm farms fascinating. Her father has set up a very small one in the garage. Her two-year-old brother Colton marvels at his ability to knock over any free-standing planter he can get to.
“I’m outside all day chasing my son,” Ferguson said.