Actually, that's kind of not true. It could have happened to me! But that's another story for another day.
If you haven't seen it yet, the Sacramento Bee's Debbie Arrington did a nice little article on one of my gardening mentors (and former radio co-worker). Not much about the article surprised me because Fred Hoffman, aka the famous "Farmer Fred Hoffman," and I have talked about every gardening issue under the sun over the years.
I first started following Fred's show because I was forced too. No! Really! It's true! As the news "voice" on KSTE Radio in 1999, I was actually located in a different building several blocks away from the main KSTE studios. And if I missed my cue -- tsk, tsk, tsk. As they say in radio, better hit your breaks, because you'll never get that moment in time back.
I wouldn't actually meet Fred until some years later when I started working weekends at KFBK. I wasn't gardening yet, that was still a number of years off, but I sure enjoyed whatever produce Fred brought into the building. And, whenever the talk turned to tomatoes (my favorite subject), I actually listened intently.
Fast forward a couple of years and Bill Bird suddenly finds his grandest wish come true -- married to the most beautiful woman in the world -- my true gardening inspiration in life -- Venus. Not only do I have a new wife -- I've got a new house with a yard to landscape, and that's when the years of listening to Fred's gardening show and advice really began to pay off.
Although I've learned a lot from trial and error, I've also tried to follow Fred's helpful advice whenever possible. It's whenever I don't follow it, do I usually wind up regretting it. And then I'll usually hear the music in one way or another from my gardening inspiration in life. "Did Fred tell you to do that," Venus will ask in an accusing sort of way. And when the inevitable reply of "No" comes out of my mouth, the retort is usually:
A. Why Not?
B. You're an idiot
C. Do I have to do everything around here?
D. All of the Above
Sacramentans are truly blessed to have some of the best gardening soil, weather and growing conditions known to all mankind. We're equally as blessed to have the garden advice of Farmer Fred Hoffman.