Betty Jo encapsulates one of the most important and exciting aspects of gardening and what we aim for in the Grow Your Own program: creativity! Though she had dreamed of having a large garden, the mountainous landscape made utilizing a large space quite a challenge. Instead of backing away from gardening, she searched for ideas on how to make her space work for her in a cute, functional, productive way!

My name is Betty Jo, I live in Tazewell. This is my second full year in the grow your own program. Most of the time you will find me in the classroom or at dance or marching band practice with my kiddos but during the summer months you will find me covered in dirt in the garden or sitting out there reading a book in my happy place.I’ve always loved to grow things. I grew things as a little girl with my mom, who loved to have a little garden that we would put up every year in our little backyard in suburbia Pennsylvania. Many many years later, I moved to beautiful Tazewell after getting married in 2004. I always wanted a big yard full of plants in a garden, but most years I would just plant a few tomato plants in a planter box on the side of our house. Fast forward to 2018 I finally got some nerve to build a raised bed garden; now by no means is it big because I live on a hill but I love it and it’s enough for me to handle.  The last two years I’ve have watched a ton of videos on gardening and small space gardens. I definitely recommend look on YouTube. There is a ton of resources on building small space gardens. One of my favorites is Jess from Roots and Refuge Farm. Last year I took one of her ideas and I’ve built vertically using a cattle panel to make an arch. They’re amazing to build your garden space up.This year I decided to till up the front of our house to make room for a flower garden. Thanks to Morgan and her partner from the Washington Co garden that came out on a hot Sunday with a broad fork and tiller.  I learned how to use a broad fork… that is hard work.Beside the flower garden this year I have added several container growing spots. I love to try growing new things. I have used grow bags, old totes, old tires, metal tubs…. The possibilities are endless.  Don’t let lack of space to grow a garden stop you from your dream use your imagination. My next project I want to do is to build a small greenhouse using old windows and doors… 💚