Thursday, May 31, 2007

Love in a four-pack

The Southside Farm Store on 38th Street has always been the best place in town for pet food, pet accessories, and general pet-loving. The tiny aisles are so jam-packed with goodies (vitamins, bones, supplements!) that it feels like your sweet companion curled up on the couch at home has anointed you the scavenger/hunter-gatherer.

And, frankly, dear Fido, we like it that way, because cooing at the pair of mourning doves by the counter where the protective and bony German Shepherd hangs his leash has become part of a weekly ritual.

As an added bonus, this old-school pet store also serves as one of the best garden shops in town. On a recent trip there we discovered plethora of veggies, herbs, and spices for rock-bottom prices. That's right, a plethora!

For merely $1.49 you can snag a healthy stalk of Valencia, chocolate beauty, or cubanelle peppers, among a handful of other kinds. And a four-pack of purple-beauty peppers is only $2.29, the same price you'll pay for a four-pack of lovely and healthy coleus or bright, blooming petunias the size of a tennis ball.

The shop carries earthworm castings, organic compost, and corn gluten for starting your garden. And basil lovers are treated like queens here. Southside grows nearly every kind on the basil-covered planet: lemon basil, spicy globe basil, black opal basil. Oh, and did we mention the six kinds of squash? Now even in the spice jungle you can feel like the hunter-gatherer Fido thinks you deserve to be.

Southside Farm Store: 1534 E. 38th Street, Minneapolis; 612.721.2761