In early 2000, I met a man at the Veterans Administration 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. The nurse asked me to talk about how to grow herbs in a limited, albeit nontraditional, garden space.
While I was preparing my props for the program, a very tall gentleman with a full head of pure white hair walked up to me and ask, “What are you doing, little lady?” I explained my program, and then suggested he should join us. He let out a big laugh and with a smirk on his face, asked me, “Do you know how many acres I use to farm?” The question was rhetorical, of course, he seemed no longer interested in growing his own food, much less a flowering plant or herb.
He wore his blue-jean bib overhauls as though it was the last vestige of his life. This retired farmer was off to a bingo game instead. Despite my encouragement, he could not see success growing tomatoes in containers.
In my minds eye, I contrast that with the guy who came to my program later that day armed with pictures of his garden. He rolled up to one of the tables and pulled out photos of his vegetables growing in big plastic storage tubs that sat on picnic tables. It was clear he wanted to share his success stories; I wished he could have met the farmer who was playing bingo.
When I took my first Master Gardener class, I was not sure how I would use what I learned. Then and now, there are so many ways to encourage gardening out in a community. I did know container gardening, but back then I thought I was in the minority believing it was a viable 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 gardening or motivation to keep growing plants, I aim to help you find it here.
At Stay Gardening, I will explore ways on 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 style of plant bed, the soil or the weather; there is always something to grow and to keep the garden life going by “stay gardening.” Always for fun and for life.