Garden Wars!!! (Week 1)

There’s been a lot of smack-talk happening on Twitter among John Sarvay (of Floricane and Buttermilk & Molasses), Ryan Smartt (of ConnectRichmond), and Scott Pharr (of PharrOut and RVANews) over the last few weeks. But it’s not about who’s the smartest, strongest, or the manliest. No, no, it’s about gardens.

There’s been a lot of smack-talk happening on Twitter among John Sarvay (of Floricane and Buttermilk & Molasses), Ryan Smartt (of ConnectRichmond), and Scott Pharr (of PharrOut and RVANews) over the last few weeks. But it’s not about who’s the smartest, strongest, or the manliest. No, no, it’s about gardens.

We decided it was high time these gentlemen have a proper battle, a platform on which each can highlight his gardening skills and publicly shame his opponents. Each week, we will post photos from their gardens, complete with captions written by the gardeners themselves. This week we’ll be featuring photos of…

1. A cute kid somehow involved with the gardening process
2. A featured item of the gardeners’ choosing
3. The overall harvest for the week

Then you, the readers, will declare the week’s winner in the comments. Whoever is victorious will receive praise, glory, and the knowledge that he CRUSHED the competition. Because that’s what counts. When it’s all said and done, whoever has won the most weeks out of this three-month battle will be treated to dinner by the remaining sorry excuses for gardeners his competitors.

Let us begin! Garden Wars!!!! Week 1!!!!


(who, it must be noted, was assisted by his lovely wife, Nikole)

At the tender age of two, Thea remains capable of glib delight even when confronted with a lapful of freshly harvested kale leaves. And she loves it – raw and in her smoothies!

We grew two kinds of kale this spring – a rounder leaf from seed, and these more ragged creatures from seedlings donated by friends.

Our first significant harvest of the spring includes two types of kale, chard and the last of our radishes.


She’s already a green thumb at the age of 3.

A tasty mix of spicy greens, from the ground…

…to the table, in less than 5 minutes!


Guys, these are called Finger Carrots, the middle one is flipping… well, never mind.

I think these flowers are bigger than anything Sarvay can produce. (Get it? Produce?)

Seriously, this is like the 5th bowl this season. I rocked it out this year on spinach.

Now you tell us: who wins this week? WHOSE GREENS REIGN SUPREME!?!?!?

(Leave your thoughts in the comments.)

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  1. AM Grohs on said:

    Ooooh, I’m lliking Pharr on this round. Great carrot photo, a model taking risks is always a win on Americas Next Top Model!

  2. Leigh on said:

    I think I am going to have to go with Pharr and his Carrot Fingers.

  3. Giving my vote to Scott this week, mostly because there’s nothing better in the world than fresh raw spinach.

  4. John on said:

    Can’t resist the carrot fingers. Week One, my vote goes to Pharr.

  5. Jennie on said:

    I’m gunna go with Ryan, cause I appreciate the effort he put forth for that last picture, and that salad looks yummy!

  6. Sallie Thalhimer on said:

    Impressive!! You will be setting up your own Farmer’s Markets before we know it!…Wish you could inspire a certain Grand-dad to get competitive too!

  7. Those flowers! That spinach! Those little carrots!

    I vote Pharr.

  8. No anonymous voting? Damn, I have to own up to my opinion.

    I give this week’s vote to Sarvay- for choice of veggies & what to do with them: TWO kinds of kale, swiss chard, radish, & kale smoothies for the kid.

  9. lindsey on said:

    it’s definitely pharr this week.

  10. I vote Smartt because of the whole “ground to table in less than 5 minutes.”

    Plus he put his kid to work. I appreciate that.

  11. pharr.

  12. Ted U on said:

    Sarvay…Even though I dislike kale.

  13. Tiffany on said:

    Going to have to go with Pharr…

  14. Sarvay’s harvest is a vast array. I feel like he may have included a couple things from Saturday’s Forest Hill’s Park Market. I’m just saying.


  15. My vote goes to Thea, I mean John. Kale is quite possibly the most underrated vegetable out there, alongside brussel sprouts. It’s my seasonal favorite and the fact that I might get my hands on a smoothie recipe is worthy of my vote!

  16. Shannon on said:

    I vote Pharr, look at those squash flowers!!

  17. wren on said:

    Gotta give this one to Sarvey for cuteness, quantity, and the kale smoothies.

  18. Wow — All I can say is all three of you guys ROCK! I’m sooo impressed. Young. Guys. Gardening!
    For me, Sarvay wins because well, I love kale — and even though he didn’t know the proper name for lacinto kale or “dino” kale — he did get 2-year-old Thea to eat and LOVE it in a raw foods smoothie! For me, that alone makes him the hands down winner.

  19. Justin Smith on said:

    Going to have to go with Pharr. Fresh Spinach = delicious.

  20. gray on said:

    A vote for Smartt.

    A very good trio of images -he captures joy, elegance, and spice.

  21. Those three cuties! How to choose? I’m going with the squash blossoms and the pun: Pharr gets my vote this week.

  22. It’s a tough call, but I have to go with Sarvay–not one, but two kinds of kale and dazzling rainbow chard!

  23. Kale in smoothies and swiss chard in any context are both worthy of high praise (tho extremely easy to grow and prepare). Round one goes to Sarvay on my scorecard.

  24. Christi Pharr on said:

    Loved eating that spinach –still do, love watching those flowers…they are growing like crazy and I LOVE that adorable carrot eating model!!! vote Pharr :)

  25. Ryan on said:

    Once again, Val has all of the right things to say.

  26. Eric on said:

    Pharr got it this week. Seriously, who eats Kale.

  27. Eric, A certain local restaurant makes a lovely oyster stew which contains kale. You’ll love kale when it’s smothered with a cream sauce and eaten with oysters and bacon and onion. Truth.

  28. Kelly on said:

    First of all, featuring a cute kid in your post should immediately disqualify you…which would leave no one in this case. My vote is for Sarvay.

  29. Love the carrots and the attractive presentation of the greens, but gonna have to give a point to Sarvay for his beeeeeyooootiful kale & chard.

  30. Ed/Pat on said:

    We vote for Sarvay. Great looking vegies, and soooo big.

  31. This is going to be fun!

    Those squash blossoms are gorgeous! I’m going with Pharr this week.

    Our basic green smoothie recipe (made with that kale from our garden) is here:

  32. So touch, but I’ve gotta vote Pharr, and not just because he signs my paychecks.

  33. And by “touch” I totally meant “tough.” So much for latenight commenting!

  34. Without a doubt the little girl holding the watering can is going to make those veggies grow and grow and grow. Look out, competitors!

  35. Ryan on said:

    Scott Pharr all the way! That sweet little girl with the carrots did it for me!

  36. Stanton on said:

    Oh, it has to be the little girl with the matching outfit and watering can for fashion points. That helps produce a winner!

  37. Bill 3 on said:

    Ryan & Lyla Smartt are clearly the winners this week. A great team that knows that winning this first contest isn’t everything, it’s the only thing!!!! A winning combination:):):)

  38. Bo on said:

    I don’t know any of these people, so my opinion is completely unbiased. But this “Smartt” person has the best garden.

    The other two are good gardens — very good, even. Heck, extraordinary. And the results are no doubt delicious.

    But BEST garden? Honky, please.

  39. Wanda on said:

    SMARTT absolutely gets my vote! All are great entries, but the three wonderful photos were most appealing! When’s dinner?

  40. Thanks to everyone who commented/voted. As we’re gearing up for week 2, RVANews is officially naming Scott Pharr as the winner for week 1.

    Tune in tomorrow for the next installment of Garden Wars!!!

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