Garden Wars!!! (Week 7)

He’s done it again! Ryan Smartt has done it again! Despite valiant efforts put forth by his opponents, last week Mr. Smartt managed to score his second consecutive victory in the battle for gardening supremacy. But whose greens will reign supreme this week? YOU DECIDE.

He’s done it again! Ryan Smartt has done it again! Despite valiant efforts put forth by his opponents, last week Mr. Smartt managed to score his second consecutive victory in the battle for gardening supremacy. That puts our current standing at:

Sarvay: 1 (winning week 3)
Pharr: 2 (winning weeks 1 and 4)
Smartt: 3 (winning weeks 2, 5, and 6)

For those of you new to Garden Wars, here’s how it works:

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.

Now, on to Week 7. Take a look and help us decide WHOSE GREENS REIGN SUPREME????


We’ve come close to perfecting a kale-based version of the broccoli rabe pasta from Edo’s. The secret? Sauteing the garlic in plenty of olive oil, and adding bread crumbs and red pepper to the mix. We normally put this atop a bed of black pepper linguine from Bombolini Pasta. Delish!

The late June heat destroyed most of our garden, so Thea and I have started a mid-summer replacement effort with fresh plantings of Oscar the Grouch green beans, summer peas, carrots, and radishes.

Thea doesn’t get off easy around our house. Her watering duties include the kitchen floor, her mom’s shoes, and these stylish planters filled with flowers – and a tomato and cucumber plant.


My big beautiful bee balm plant is really bringing out the bees. Say THAT five times fast! In other news, I can now stop hand pollinating (and there was much rejoicing).

The red tomatoes are plentiful, and Halle couldn’t be happier (especially when you add salt or mozzarella and basil!) Stay tuned for more exotic varieties that Kyla keeps trying to pick early!

Four purple whopping eggplants have emerged over the past two weeks, which means someone’s going to be having eggplant Parmesan this season.


We literally pick at least four to five new tomatoes each day. Lyla is brilliant and determined that one of these is bigger than the other.

I speak from experience: It tastes as hot as it looks.

As promised from last week, a spicy bowl of gazpacho for a hot summer day.

Cast your votes in the comments!

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Notice: Comments that are not conducive to an interesting and thoughtful conversation may be removed at the editor’s discretion.

  1. Continuing my self-sabotaging efforts and my track record of picking the winner early, I’m leaning toward Pharr this week – nice bee shot, nice alliteration, cute daughter shot and a friggin’ eggplant.

  2. lindsey on said:

    it’s totally pharr for the eggplant.

  3. Sarvay gets my vote. I support anything involving Oscar the Grouch. Plus, Thea is as cute as can be.

  4. AM Grohs on said:

    Sarvay on this one…I mean really watering Mom’s shoes is the way to go!

  5. Jennie on said:

    Sarvay. Not only did I want to lick my computer screen, but I’m also jealous that you have sesame street veggies and I don’t.

  6. sarvay gets my vote only if he and nikole with share the recipe. i have a major craving now for that dish.

  7. Shannon on said:

    Gotta be Pharr with those red red toms and the purple eggplant! My eggplants got stolen by a rabbit or squirrel, not sure which!

  8. Tough choice this week. I’m going to go with Sarvay again. That kale dish looks fantasgreat. And I love the fact that the Oscar the Grouch bag o’ beans says, “This is not a toy.”

  9. Sarvay for the tie! I’m now inspired to replant where once were zucchini ~

  10. Eric on said:

    Pharr you own this week. Look at those tomatoes and eggplant. Save the Swagger video for last!!!

  11. Pharr rocked it this week! Bees! Eggplant! Awesomeness!

  12. mmh1 on said:

    Pharr – those are some awesomely red tomatoes. Plus, the flowers in the first shot a beautiful.

  13. Lisa on said:

    The beautiful Eggplant does it for me! Way-to-go Pharr family!

  14. Greg on said:

    Pharr!!!! You can’t beat captions that sound like they are straight out of a Dr Seuss book. Or eggplants just in general.

  15. Addy on said:

    Sarvay – that dish looked delish! Great captions, too :)

  16. Paul on said:

    Although we’ve never met, I’m going to have to go with Sarvay. The picture of the Kale dish looks like it could be the cover of a restaurant guide, while Smartt’s gazpacho picture looks like it was taken for a Mexican restaurant menu (“I’ll take this”).

  17. Elizabeth Smartt on said:

    I have to vote Sarvay for that first, beautiful photo, which made my mouth water. Plus I think his garden is SO big and bountiful that it makes ours look like Oscar the Grouch next to Snuffleupagus. (Is Snuffleupagus still on Sesame Street? What happened to him?)

  18. I’m not sure who to vote for this week, I’m just saying, I got super close to that bee in order to take a picture.

  19. Rebecca on said:

    Sarvay- food looks yummy, Thea is a doll, and love the Oscar the Grouch bag:)

  20. Such beautiful tomatoes and eggplants. Pharr gets my vote this week.

  21. nic on said:


  22. Trish on said:

    Voting Sarvay — I can taste the rabe through cyperspace.

  23. Carrie on said:

    Pharr: those tomatoes are such a vibrant red. I bet they’re as juicy as they look too! Now I’m craving a serious tomato sandwich!

  24. Gil on said:

    I say Sarvay all the way. I wanna eat that first picture.

  25. BOPST on said:

    When the apocalypse comes, I’m moving in with Sarvay…

  26. Oh, it’s on its way Bopst, it’s on its way…

  27. Erin on said:

    Awesomely delicious looking kale dish *and* Oscar the Grouch plants??? Sarvay all the way this week!

  28. Edward/Pat Price on said:

    I am voting for the Sarvay deli, Thea’s muscles, and Oscar the Grouch beans.

  29. I’ve got to go with Pharr for that eggplant and those tomatoes with Halle’s perfectly matching headband. Although Oscar the Grouch beans are pretty fantastic.

  30. Isn't this Obvious on said:

    SMARTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This chili looks incredible and Lyla is the cutest there is!!!

  31. It has to be Pharr this week.

    I think Sarvay unknowingly admitted defeat when he reported that the summer heat destroyed his garden and as a result he had to start over. It looks to me like the other two still have their gardens.

  32. I was leaning toward Mr. (Grouch) Greenbeans until I saw Pharr’s up-close-and-personal phlirtation with those bees. Pharr’s my pick for this week.

  33. Katie M on said:

    Sarvay for the kale pasta dish and allowing daughter to do the watering. It takes some parenting restraint not to intervene between a child and her watering can.

  34. Kelly on said:

    Sarvay…because I support using child labor to make your harvest bountiful

  35. Having eaten that kale dish, I’m voting for my man. Delish.

  36. Catherine on said:

    Pharr this week. Eggplant! Tomatoes and matching headband!

  37. Tiffanie on said:

    Pharr this week for braving not only flora, but fauna in his quest for documentation.

  38. My vote goes to Oscar the Grouch, oops – I mean Sarvay, for perseverance and to his able assistant, Thea, for her eye-catching ensemble – she’s like a little slice of Independence Day Americana with the blue & white stars on top and the red & white stripes below! Pharr gets props for risking bodily harm to snag that awesome bee shot, and Smartt for having monkeys in his pics – nice touch.

  39. My wife mocked me for putting her in those clothes. And that shot was taken on the Fourth of July! This week, Trina, the Garden Gnome makes an appearance…

  40. Jeff on said:

    Anyone who can mimic Edo’s gets a thumbs up. John gets my vote

  41. Okay, I decided to vote for myself this week. Cause I’m selfish.

  42. Edo’s Kale sounds great! Go Sarvay….

  43. And the winner is….


    Tune in tomorrow for Week 8!

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