Gardening really grows on the Bearnes family

LAUREL — Kent and Kim Bearnes have a  true passion for gardening.

“We love to do it,” said Kent Bearnes as he and wife Kim wander through their larger than life garden, explaining all the types of plants.

Driving into the couple’s well-kept acreage, tucked away just outside of Laurel, one can see the passion, love, pride, and time the couple has devoted to gardening.

The couple moved to the acreage in August of 1994, it was the first week of school for the couples two children, Kylie and Beau. Through the years the couple has repaired buildings as needed, and removing others that were no longer salvageable. The couple did bring in an old granary building that currently serves as a tool shed.

“The highlight of spring is when the seed catalogues come,” said Kim. This is a time when the couple seeks out the tried and true plants and seeds, and researches new types of plants to consider adding to the garden for the year.

This year the couple planted over seven different types of pumpkins, ranging in size from itty bitty to a few over a 100 pounds.

Kim spent a large portion of late summer and early fall canning what the couple harvested. Kim was able to begin passing on the passion of canning with her grandchildren this summer through preserving jelly.

The couple is generous with their harvest, Kent was raised with the mind set to share the plentiful harvest. “We grow too much so we can give it away,” he said.

The couple enjoys sharing their passion with those around them. Judy Kvols Learning Tree Preschool were recent visitors to the Bearnes homestead.

“They (the students) just love going to the farm,” said Kvols. The Bearnes walk the kids around showing them the different types of plants, explaining and showing the students various aspects of gardening. How to pick the pumpkins, dig for the potatoes, and how to take the corn seeds off the cob using an old-time corn sheller.

Another passion for the couple is a tradition of planting a new tree for each family member. This was a tradition the couple’s parents did with each one of them.

The couple is currently on the hunt for a tree for their latest grandbaby. Kent gifted each family member a framed pressed leave from the family members tree for Christmas.

One could say this passion is in the couple’s blood, Kim’s family is the seventh generation farmers. Kent is one of eight siblings, Kent’s family instilled the passion of farming, also coming from a long line of farmers.

Kim works as a University of Lincoln Extension Educator in Stanton County.

She recently received her “30 years of Service” pin, serving in eight different counties in Nebraska over this time frame.

Kent is an independent agronomist, using the knowledge he has gained through years of experience in the couple’s own garden.

The couple hails from Kansas, having meet during their junior year at a National 4-H Convention and kept in contact through letters and were able to reconnect at K-State.

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