“I am an eco-conscious dad of three kids. I see gardening and bee keeping as part of my low-waste journey. I live those moments I have in my garden, thinking through my years of experience to understand what is in front of me and how to solve gardening challenges.
I took up growing my own food when I was in the Peace Corps in Gabon, Africa. With a lot of time on my hands, I wanted to join my neighbors in growing my own vegetables to supplement what was in the market but to also understand how food goes from seed to table. All of the hard working African women, who were feeding up to 7 kids from food they were growing in their fields and kitchen gardens is really what inspired me to grow food.
There is no better pride and joy than watching plants you started from seed grow huge, give food and then pick and eat it within a few hours. That feeling cannot be compared to getting food at the grocery store and the taste of the food is incredible. I love being able to show my kids that no matter where you live, the soil can provide for you!
I live in the suburbs of Connecticut (1 hour north of new York City) on not much land and my garden is in my front yard!! Right next to the sidewalk because that is where I have the best sun. I also have two bee hives in my garden for all my neighbors to see. My garden is about 20 by 20 feet.
I grow lots of greens like Kale, collard greens, Swiss chard, lettuce and also pole beans, bush beens, tomatoes, tomatillos, eggplants, carrots, beets, okra, herbs including lemon grass!
I have an organic garden so I use lots of my own compost to fertilize and when needed, I spray the leaves of my plants with a soapy, hot pepper spray. I don’t mind sharing my leaves with the caterpillars. I have a fenced in garden to keep out the rabbits and squirrels.
I try to save seeds of my best crops but mostly buy seeds at my local garden shop. Once, I ordered special heritage seeds from a seed saver cooperative, but they did not all grow well in my growing zone.
With three kids and a full time job, there is just not enough time in the day in the spring! But it is a great therapy to be out in the garden just getting my hands dirty and soil under my nails.
There is not much I can say that can inspire…Our plants really should be the ones inspiring us. Just step out into nature, into your garden and that is where you should be drawing inspiration.”