Monday, March 15, 2010

Close-to-home travel: Fun @ Fazzio’s

Shopping is not my favorite thing with two exceptions: office supplies and gardening supplies. My enchantment with office supplies is founded in reality and a matter for another post. My shopping for gardening supplies, however, is an indulgence in fantasy of the highest order, since I regularly kill all sorts of plants through too much love or sporadic neglect.

Husband Walter fed my fantasy Saturday with an inaugural jaunt to Fazzio’s Home and Farm Center about 30 minutes from our home. Fazzio’s did not disappoint. A symphony – or if you don’t like fuzzy babies, cacophony – greeted us immediately inside the front door of the rustic structure. Little bunnies were thumping around in pens in the center aisle. From an adjacent aisle came the sounds of recently hatched chicks, ducks, guineas and geese.

Day-trip souvenir: My new Ames Classic spading fork
The interior space was large enough to carry a fascinating array of things that serious farmers, pet owners and equestrians would need.  I headed for the gardening tools that were visible on the back wall. They had exactly the spading fork I had been looking for. It had both wooden handle and a wood and metal, D-shaped grippy thing at the top. Clutching my treasured new spading fork, I strolled around looking for seeds.

The search didn’t provide immediate results, but it was a delightful glimpse into totally foreign territory. One alcove featured John Deere toys for tots and collectible Breyer horses. Another huge, huge section displayed everything anyone would need for Western-styled horse-related competition and care, at least that is what it looked like to me. A side exit yielded no seeds but proved to be an extravaganza of vegetable plants with more tomato and pepper varieties than I had seen anywhere else this spring. Plus, unlike at the big box stores, these plants were all healthy -- ranks of sturdy green soldiers ready to do battle in my garden. I managed to contain my enthusiasm and abandoned the plants for my seed list. Onward to seeds.

Inexpensive entertainment: Seeds from Fazzio's
At last! My ultimate gardening fantasy, so many varieties of seeds in bulk, visible in little bins behind a long counter. Even better, the kind people at Fazzio’s had measured out seeds, some in little packets for extra-small quantities and others in small brown paper bags. They were cheaper than commercially packaged seeds, too. But wait! Where were the pictures! I needed pictures!

Beth to the rescue. She helped me through my list, pointed out photos and supplied advice. The trim and high-energy Beth had come out of a retirement that was evidently too tame for her. She said she had been on the Fazzio’s team for one month. One month? She did sound knowledgeable, though; and she did mention her own vegetable garden. “Okay, Beth,” I said, “If these don’t work, I am coming after you.”

“Come ahead,” she laughed, pointing me to the cashier in the center of the building.

That was the best and most entertaining seed-shopping experience I have ever had. I would never have guessed that a farm and home center could rate so high with me as a tourist destination for close-to-home travel.


  1. Fazzio's sounds a lot like our Tractor Supply Stores. Good luck with the garden. We planted 2 more blueberry bushes today...

  2. Thanks Kathy. I am definitely still a gardening newbie. And thanks for stopping by to visit.