Born/raised in close proximity to the namesake sign in Hollywood, CA, where the house had no yard, but was surrounded by a hill of ivy for slide prevention. A few pots of geraniums on the deck were the extent of any gardening, plus a tiny flat area big enough for the laundry line and a dozen strawberry plants.
There were weekly trips to the L.A. Farmer’s Market or select markets selling organic produce, but I had no concept how most veggies actually grew. Typical Southern Calif. fruits I did see growing on trees, so I wasn’t totally ignorant.
While pursuing undergraduate studies in botany and plant pathology in San Luis Obispo, Calif., I applied fledgling gardening skills to growing tomatoes and zucchinis in pots on my apartment balcony.
The opportunity to garden for real arose upon moving to Corvallis, Oregon years ago to complete graduate studies in soil science. Here I was able to experience the joys of trying to implement a garden in wet, clayey soils, as well as a cooler climate than I had been accustomed to; plus, what it’s like to lose marigolds and lettuce overnight to slugs, and mature broccoli to cabbage moths.
Since purchasing my property in 1998, a rental that was planted completely to lawn, my conversion to a more sustainable landscape has progressed in phases, as permitted by a full-time job, budget, and life’s activities.
Amidst other activities, I always consider gardening as one of life’s best forms of continuing education for heart, body, mind, and soul.