Garden Wars!!! (Week 12)

Well, here we are. Pharr’s victory last week made it possible for our agricultural superstars to engage in one last battle. So let us begin this, our final week of Garden Wars. (Anyone else a little sad?)

Well, here we are. Pharr’s victory last week made it possible for our agricultural superstars to engage in one last battle. So let us begin this, our final week of Garden Wars. (Anyone else a little sad?)

Garden Wars works like this:

John Sarvay (of Floricane and Buttermilk & Molasses), Ryan Smartt (of ConnectRichmond), and Scott Pharr (of PharrOut and RVANews) face off each week as they showcase images of their agricultural efforts, complete with clever(ish) captions. Then you, the readers, decide who wins. Whoever has won the most number of weeks out of the three-month run of this series will be treated to a meal by the losers.

Here’s where we stand going into the final battle:

Sarvay: 3 (winning weeks 3, 7, and 10)
Pharr: 4 (winning weeks 1 and 4, and 8, 11)
Smartt: 4 (winning weeks 2, 5, 6, and 9)

If Pharr or Smartt takes it this week, it will be a clear-cut, overall victory. However, should Sarvay take it, that means a three-way tie and everyone wins. How’s it gonna be, Richmond?


After Thea spent the morning playing with her stuffed ducks and zucchini, we baked zucchini muffins together. Monday morning plans included bribes… er, deliveries of fresh muffins to Valerie at RVANews, Scott Pharr, and Ryan Smartt.

While my fellow gardeners wind down for the season, we’re ramping back up with a new batch of green beans almost ready to pick, fresh radishes and the same kale featured in Week 1 — still producing!

Meet your farmers: John and Thea. Thea eats the kale raw, while the adults enjoy it sauteed in garlic and tossed with Edo’s-style. Don’t forget – a vote for us this week means everyone wins.


We are still excited about what’s to come in the garden and still lots of anticipation! Cukes, peppers, eggplants, and potatoes!

Do I really need to give you an explanation? (definition)

Amazingly enough it only took us three shots to get this right. Honestly, I’m even surprised. In any case, from our family to yours… thank you!


Saturday night’s menu: freshly picked green peppers and eggplant, sauteed in a delicious pesto pasta (which included freshly picked basil), topped with a roasted banana pepper and garnished with tomato & basil (all freshly picked.) Bon Appetit!

Wasn’t the Carytown Watermelon Festival fun this week? We’ll have our own watermelon festival at home in a few more weeks thanks to these guys.

A final curtain call for our cast of gardeners: Lyla, myself and Deacon — who’s obviously focused on eating something someone dropped (as usual).

Now, dear readers, it’s up to you to decide, once and for all…


(Aren’t you going to miss shouting that?)

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  1. So many great reasons to vote for you all, including the great family shots. But all things being equal, I’ve got to stick with my VT brethren at the Pharr Garden. Go, Hokies!

  2. I’m so torn! I have to think about this…

  3. AM Grohs on said:

    Whoa…tough choice this week! Nice work guys!
    Honestly going with Sarvay…really stuffed animals & zuccini as toys, just love it!

  4. You guys all have such lovely green thumbs!

    I vote Sarvay.

  5. lindsey on said:

    sarvay! they all deserve to win : ) and also zucchini muffins are one of my favorite things ever.

  6. Come to think of it, if I win – no one wins! It’s like Pee Wee baseball all over again…

    I’m voting for Thea Sarvay!

  7. Cindy on said:

    I’m voting for Sarvay!! It’s a win-win-win!

  8. This is tough!

    I have to vote Pharr because of the multiple veggies, the family shot, and really, for the FTW in peppers.

  9. Guys, guys, guys. We’re supposed to submit THREE PHOTOS each week. Not 5 or 6 disguised as 3. THREE. And who’s the only gardener who has played by the rules this year? That’s right. ME. And that’s why I’m voting for me. And so should you. Because you can’t spell “Garden Wars” without “Integrity”. …or something like that…

  10. Mary on said:


  11. I vote for everybody (i.e. Sarvay). Great work, gardeners!

  12. Pharr FTW!!

  13. Tough call this week. Sarvay has been really proud of his Kale. This has been a weekly picking that I dont think anyone else had this season. Smart for following the rules and Pharr for even getting the dog to smile. But im going with Pharr FTW – he’s got potatoes.

  14. Edward Price on said:

    Sarvay. Love those muffins; will you save one for me??????????

  15. Rules are rules–three photos wins and who can resist Lyla and Deacon!! The game, set and match goes to Smartt! But, if I could vote for one photo, it would be FTW. That was one of the best of the season. My other vote is to extend this production to next year–it was and is great fun. Thanks to all three! It is almost as good as The Fabulous Beekman Boys on Planet Green…

  16. Carrie on said:

    Pharr: eggplant, potatoes, FTW…and Hokie spirit! ;)

  17. Emily on said:

    Gotta hand it to Pharr, consistently impressive garden FTW (outright)!

  18. Gotta vote for my grand-daughter Lyla, grand-dog Deacon, and son-in-law Ryan who is also pretty grand! Plus we have actually enjoyed first hand some of the delicious fruits of his labor-well more like “veggies of his labor.”….But I send my congrats to all for a great competition!

  19. Kristy Roy on said:

    My vote is for Pharr. FTW…very clever!

  20. Sarvay — FTT

  21. Dave on said:

    I’m happy this is finally ending.

  22. I vote Pharr.

    I also vote for one more week if Sarvay wins. I can’t believe how many people want this to end in a lame tie. Wars are supposed to have losers.

  23. Ack! I’m with you, Val ~ I can’t decide. Too much riding on this one. And Ryan is getting to me with his integrity pitch . .

  24. Elizabeth Smartt on said:

    I’m going to have to vote Sarvay. Not only because my mom always made us play games where “everyone wins,” but because I think Sarvay’s garden really deserves to win. (Also I’m hoping if there’s a three-way tie, we’ll celebrate with a massive feast involving the gardeners’ wives!)

  25. Molly on said:

    smartt gets my vote! hes smartt and follows the rules and knows how to spell integrity

  26. Erin on said:

    Sarvay- for raising a daughter who’s way more into her veggies than most adults I know!

  27. Aw, I will miss Garden Wars. I vote for Pharr. Those eggplants and peppers look like their going to be delish!!

  28. Who’s the brilliant person that decided this was only running twelve weeks? There’s only one way this should end – with a week 13 Garden Wars free-for-all. I’m voting for Sarvay and hoping this thing goes to sudden death.

  29. rbrianforrester on said:

    Great pics from everyone, but I’ve got a soft spot for pugs so Mr. Smartt and Deacon get my vote. Good luck everyone!

  30. Ryan, Lyla and Deacon are world-class gardeners. Smartt gets my vote!

  31. Corie on said:


  32. I’ve been agonizing over this all day (YES I TAKE THIS SERIOUSLY).

    I’m sorry, I have to go with Pharr. The “FTW” is amazing, his family is so lovely I could die, and I love potatoes.

    (I did appreciate the muffins so very much though.)

  33. I’ve loved Garden Wars and all the effort these gentlemen have put into cultivating their families and their food. Sarvay this week, for sure!

  34. Renee on said:

    So torn…but I’ll have to go with Smartt on this. Three photos and a black pug!

  35. Jerry Smartt on said:

    Now, this is a real toughy. First of all, I really like Sarvay’s approach …delivering zuccini muffins to the competition is worthy of a truly grand prize for good citizenship and fair play.

    What a beautiful photo of the Pharr family. Imagine sitting there three times in a row with the animal and those sweet children! Quite a feat I would say!

    But….last week I had the enormous pleasure of personally eating some of the glorious produce from Smartt’s garden and I can attest to its unique flavor and high quality. It was a gourmet treat beyond words. Then you add the Deacon, Princess Lyla, and that son of mine and…well, you know I gotta vote for the smartt effort.

  36. I’m sticking with the Sarvay garden–you gotto love the bumper crop.

  37. Wanda on said:

    Ryan Smartt gets my vote! I mean, after all, other than the fact that this prince of a guy is a fabulously talented chef and knows how to beautifully present his tasty culinary creations…he’s my dear, sweet, adorable cousin!!!

  38. Jamie on said:

    My vote is for Smartt. Well played with the puppy and sweet Lyla. Oh, and the food looks yummy, too.

  39. Did anyone else notice that 2 of the contestants have a double letter end-of-name yet? I think we have to re-name Sarvayy so he matches the others.

  40. jill on said:

    Yum!!!That veggie plate that will set your mouth on fire! My vote goes for Smartt!

  41. B.J. on said:

    Smartt, without a doubt….

  42. Lyla, Deacon along with Ryan Smartt get my vote!

  43. Jillian on said:


  44. Autumn on said:

    VOTE PHARR!!!! Love it!!!

  45. 11-14-13 (Pharr-Sarvay-Smartt) right now! It’s neck-and-neck, people!

  46. Hmm.. Pharr’s FTW almost gets my vote, but I’m a sucker for a 3-way tie. My vote is for Sarvay. (Ultimate winner declared by in-person veggie taste-off?)

  47. Scottie Pharr FTW, please.

  48. Susan on said:

    PHARR HAS MY VOTE – of course!!

  49. Lynn Redford on said:

    My vote is for Pharr.

  50. I’m voting for my two favorite gardeners, so Sarvay it is. I’ve really enjoyed this – seeing all the yumminess from others’ gardens has been so inspiring.

  51. Jessica Daugherty on said:

    I vote Sarvay.

  52. Lisa on said:

    Pharr family photo is too good! Hope you got a nice frame for that one. Love you guys. Yeaaa Pharrs!!!

  53. Wayne Marks on said:

    I Vote Pharr!!
    You Da Man Scott

  54. How can i argue with Wayne. I vote for Scott.

  55. Rebecca on said:

    Sarvay FTT!!!

  56. Kristin on said:

    Gotta vote for my buddies the Sarvay’s! Delish looking zucchini muffins, by the way!

  57. Kate Osborne on said:

    VOTE PHARR!!! love you brotha!!

  58. Lauren Sanderson on said:

    VOTE PHARR!!!! :) Love the family photo!

  59. angie on said:

    sarvay, all the way!

  60. Oh, it must be the Pharr family !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  61. I vote FTP (For the Pharr)! But I’d also love to see a sudden death round…

  62. Chris on said:

    Potatoes?! Are you serious?! PHARR FTW!

  63. @Sarvay — Because everyone should win….you are all growing your own vegetables after all and that makes you all winners in my book!

  64. Tiffany on said:

    A vote for team Sarvay! 3 weeks of household illness, and you still have a garden. I’m so impressed with everyone… congratulations.

  65. Stanton Thalhimer on said:

    Smartt all the way! He stuck to the rules of 3 photo’s only! I might be a little biased because their daughter is so darn cute!

  66. paul s on said:

    No matter who wins I think Smartt has found a calling as a low budget photographer for restaurant menus. This one seems to be for a greek restaurant. My vote is for Smartt.

  67. Kelly on said:

    Sarvay. That is all.

  68. I gotta go with Sarvay. He definitely wins.

  69. Hands down, Sarvay!

    Now maybe if he quits hamming it up for the camera, he could come help me with my tomatoes…

  70. Jennifer on said:

    I say Sarvay…even though the watermelon possibility is impressive.

  71. My vote is for Sarvay. Excelsior!

  72. I can’t possibly vote for the guys who are done with their Christmas card picture in August! So I’m voting for John AND Thea, and problem solved! It’s no longer a three way tie!

    How cool would a giant pot luck detente dinner be with invitations for all those who followed the waring factions? Followers?

  73. Christie Thalhimer on said:

    I vote Ryan!

  74. The RVA News Great Garden Pot Luck. Get to work, Val.

  75. That would be really fun. But where would we put all of these people? Your house, Sarvay?

  76. Nathan Lott on said:

    Sarvay. For the triptych.

  77. Jimmy on said:

    Pharr, obviously.

  78. The RVA News Great Garden Pot Luck should be an outdoor event!! It could be at Byrd Park or Bandy Field! Just make sure to ask Weather Dan for good weather that weekend.

  79. Gotta go with Sarvay—darling pictures, and anyone who can convince me that vegetables are delicious (a.k.a. Thea) has my vote.

  80. this is a tough one as they all look fab, but gotta go team SARVAY

  81. cory on said:

    VOTE PHARR!!!!!

  82. Pharr FTW!!

  83. Christi and I just figured out that we haven’t voted yet. We selfishly vote for the most attractive family (well, at least I am) … which is Pharr (just to clarify)

  84. Christi Pharr on said:

    PHARR FTW!!!! Can’t steer away from Pharr this week. You should see my water bill for the summer months – OUTRAGEOUS! Also, that’s the best family picture we’ve taken (maybe the only one) since Kyla was born!! Great job Gardeners!!!!!!!!!

  85. Jolyn on said:


  86. Ryan on said:

    PHARR PHARR PHARR!!!! I vote for Pharr… That family picture did it for me! That is one beautful family that can grow some beautiful veggies! :-)

  87. midge warthan on said:

    pharr all the way they rocked it

  88. midge warthan on said:


  89. Megan on said:


  90. Jennifer Traylor on said:

    Pharr for sure!!!!

  91. Catherine on said:

    Pharr was the only one to include his wife in the final photos. Pharr FTW.

  92. Mickey on said:

    My vote goes to Sarvay. :)

    I have to add that Pharr’s “FTW” shot sorely tempted me.

    Congratulations to all!

  93. I’m going w/ Sarvay on this one. I think you’ve all done a fantastic job. I can’t wait until my house is done and I get to start on a garden, and this blog contest has been a great inspiration to get my daughter involved in gardening with me and my wife. I think it should be a three-way tie! :-)

    Go Sarvay!

  94. Julie on said:

    Sarvay FTW!

  95. Beth P. on said:

    Sarvay’s desperate Twitter plea won my vote. You owe me lunch.

  96. Kristin on said:

    I vote Pharr! FTW!

  97. Sarvay will hunt me down in the night if I don’t vote for him. My fear-based vote is for him.

  98. sarvay – for the kale and the twitter begging.

  99. I vote Team Sarvay. FTW

  100. I vote Smartt. A) I love an impassioned speech about integrity. B) He’s the only one who has actually fed me a meal with things from his garden, and they were very delicious things.

  101. VOTING IS NOW CLOSED! I’m closing comments in a matter of seconds.

    The winner will be officially named tomorrow morning. Look for it.

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