I would like to tell you a little bit about my gardening experience. I have two gardens, one at my house and one in Silverthorne at the community garden called Silvana’s.
My first memories of gardening were at my grandmother’s house. She had a huge garden in the backyard in Maine where she grew tomatoes, pumpkins, squash, green beans, strawberries and many more crops. I would help her squish the tomato worms and pick the green beans and strawberries on a regular basis when I was a little kid. This are some of my most precious memories with her.
In my adult life, I became interested in gardening while I was in college. My junior year at Eckerd I lived with 6 other girls in an apartment on campus and one of them started and managed our campus garden. She was always bringing back loads of veggies and putting them in the fridge. I wish that I could say I went and helped her out that year, but I didn’t. I was too busy with schoolwork (I was one of those people who took 5 classes a semester and spent all my time in the library).
After that school year was over, I unfortunately was diagnosed with cancer that summer and spent the next year living on my couch during chemo. But, a lot of that time spent on the couch was researching how to beat cancer, and fresh, organic vegetables was a main concept in all of my research. So I applied through MOFGA to become an apprentice on a farm for the next growing season.
Phoenix Farm, in Monmouth, Maine is where I was hired and I worked for only half a season before some unfortunate misunderstandings between the farmer and the apprentices ensued and I had to quit. But my time spent on that farm are days I will never forget.
Now, I live at 9,000 ft in the high country of Colorado, and gardening is a challenge, but its so fun and worth it. Today I picked 2 giant heads of lettuce (I donated one to FIRC), a few baby beets, a huge bag of basil, and a huge bag of kale. And the best part… There is still more out there to pick tomorrow and I get to make some delicious pesto for dinner tonight!
I am a big believer in growing your own food and eating local, and I encourage you to visit your local farmer’s markets every week during the growing season and if you are really ambitious look up to see if there is a community garden in your area and get involved! You don’t need to have a green thumb, there are always people around to give you tips on how and what to grow in your area. It’s more about having fun anyways, and let me tell you, eating produce that you grew yourself is one of the most rewarding feelings, so get out there and try it out!