When he’s not touring the globe with Metallica, curating his horror-movie poster collection, or partnering with craft distillers Blackened whiskey, Kirk Hammett finds time to tend the vegetable garden at his 19th-century Northern California homestead.
How exactly does a globe-trotting metal god find time to tend his garden?
I’m a better harvester than I am a grower. What I usually do is have someone start everything and then I can step in and take over and start watering and pruning and harvesting. And digging in the dirt is good for strengthening my hands. There’s something really grounding about the magnetic energy of the earth in my hands. I can feel it.
Sounds like you’ve got the fun part of the job. Give us an inventory of what you get to harvest.
I have a vegetable garden, a bunch of fruit trees, and nut trees as well. In late summer there’s an abundance of apples, peaches, figs, plums, and cherries, and it’s like, insane. I’ve been growing asparagus seven or eight years, so when the stalks come up, they come up. I have a horseradish that wants to take over the entire garden. I grow goji berries, pomegranates, calendula; I have two almond trees and about 12 hazelnut trees.
What do you do with all that food when it comes in?
I like to can, provided I don’t have too bad of a touring schedule. I make fig jam with habaner