Nicole with her adopted bunny--she better keep her out of the garden!

I’ve been out and about visiting more gardens and wanted to shine the spotlight on Nicole.

Nicole has gardened on and off in the past, but never felt she had a solid grasp on when/where/how to plant what, how much she’d need for her family or what options she had to plant, and wanted to learn more about canning and growing different plants all through the seasons.

Nicole joined our program to increase her knowledge and also to work towards decreasing the amount of money her family spends on produce.

It was also an opportunity to get to know her neighbors more. In recent years they’ve put out a small garden, but,  like Nicole, wanted more knowledge and wanted to expand their growing capabilities. They partnered together in this learning and both families joined the Grow Your Own program.

This helps them stay on track of garden tasks and also remembering to come to class! Two heads are better than one when it comes to insect ID, spraying for pests, and harvesting on time.

Nicole is creative and resourceful, and tries to fit as much as she can in her garden. This is a good thing, but she, like other gardeners, planted just two rows of corn to save space. I made sure to remind people at our latest class that a block of 4 rows is needed–4 short rows are better than 2 long rows when it comes to corn!

Creative trellis made from scraps

Creative trellis made from scraps

I was impressed with her diligent mulching, beautiful kale and broccoli, and a lovely bed of sorrel and herbs. Nicole gave me cuttings of her thyme plant which are growing away in 4-inch pots for me to give out to more families–another example of people wanting to give back to the program.

Nicole's great mulching

I also saw the striped flea beetle again, and Nicole alerted me to the fact that her golden beets, from seed I purchased in 2013, had poor germination. They were in the same bed as her detroit dark red beets, also from 2013, which had great germination and looked quite healthy. It’s good to be aware of these things as it opens the door to: Has everyone had this problem with their golden beets? Was this batch of seed just bad? Or do golden beets have significantly less germination than red beets always? Or did a pest come along that only wanted to eat the golden beets? (Probably not the last one.)  It’s a lot to think about but something worth thinking about.


Nicole's adopted dog chills near the chard

Nicole is a committed gardener and dedicated to educating herself and her children, and the world, about our environment and the many ways we can work with and take care of our earth. She is a benefit to have in our GYO class of 2013!