One of our wonderful Grow Your Own participants, Susan Jewell, has shared her experience thus far in our program. Susan has a homestead with livestock and gardens. It is amazing to see and hear about diversity in land use and leaning toward a more closed-loop system like Susan is using. Starting with horse manure for her garden beds and growing food for her pigs and chickens, she is reducing the amount of input needed from external sources. This helps balance nutrients on her land, reduces cost, and is a fun way to learn about nutrient cycles!

At our most recent workshop, Susan and I discussed heart-healthy cooking and she has kindly offered to teach our course on it! She works in nutrition. One of our main goals in GYO is to build community, and finding experts like Susan in the community is an excellent way to do so. We are so happy to have her in the program and hope to share knowledge with one another!


My name is Susan Jewell, I live in the Bandy area and this is my first time participating in the Grow Your Own program.

For years, I only raised a few garden plants at a time, mostly because I enjoyed watching the plants grow.   I started with a tiny raised bed filled with horse poo I shoveled out of my barn.   Even though I haven’t gardened on a large scale, I’ve always read and tried to learn better ways of doing it.  Recently, with the onset of possible changes in food availability and increased cost, I decided to dive in and grow a large garden and that’s about the time I discovered the Grow Your Own program.  So, I’ve added a lot of new growing areas and I’m excited to grow more and use some new planting methods I’ve been reading about.

Along with growing all these great veggies comes preserving them, so I’m planning to add canning to my list of first-time events.   I also want to grow some things I can use for the animals on my homestead – like sunflowers for the chickens and pumpkins for the piggies.

I hope you’re enjoying the program as much as I am!