In early 2000, I met a man at the VA hospital in Woods, Wisconsin, near Milwaukee. He forever changed my resolve about gardening.
I was there at the invitation of a nurse who was teaching a nutrition class on how to cook with herbs. My purpose was to offer ideas on how to grow herbs in limited, albeit, nontraditional garden spaces.
While I was there preparing my props for the program, a very tall gentleman with a full head of pure white hair walked up to me and asked, “What are you doing, little lady?” I explained, then suggested he should join us. He let out a big laugh and with a smirk on his face, he retorically replied, “Do you know how many acres I use to farm?” It seemed clear he no longer felt enabled to grow plants.
The blue bid-overhauls he wore seemed to be the only reminder of his past life. This retired farmer was off to a bingo game because, despite my encouragement, he could not envision success growing tomatoes in containers.
I contrast that with the guy I later met who came to my program that day. Armed with pictures of his garden, he rolled up to one of the tables and pulled out photos of his vegetable plants growing in big plastic storage tubs sitting on picnic tables. It was clear he wanted to share his success stories; I was wishing he would have met the farmer.
When I took my first class as a Master Gardener, I wanted to use what I was learning about gardening. Then and now, there are so many ways to encourage community gardening. But container gardening is at the heart of my affection for growing plants, back then I was in the minority believing it was a serious way to grow gardens including for one’s own food.
This is the reason for my blog, Stay Gardening. If you are looking for a reason to start or motivation to keep on growing, I aim to help you find it here.
I will explore ways how to garden and when something goes way too wrong, seek to understand why. I invite you to check in each week, share something if you like or just listen in.
Remember, no matter the plant bed, the soil or the weather; there is always something to grow and stay gardening.