The outdoors and gardening has always been essential to my life. Like several in this area, I grew up on a farm. With my grandparents, we would plant a huge garden every year. Most of our fresh produce came from the results of that garden and I have very few memories as a child of my grandparents or my parents purchasing produce at the grocery store. As a kid, being in the garden was heaven. It was my opportunity to wear a dress out in the dirt. Squish the soil between my toes. Eat fresh strawberries and tomatoes right off the vine. As an adult now, I look back on those childhood memories and realize just how cherished they truly are to me.
      When my wife and I bought our first home, I embraced the opportunity as my first chance to establish my own huge garden. I quickly realized that just because I had ample experience on a farm; there was a big difference between being told what to do in the garden and being knowledgeable of the planning, preparation and labor that goes into the process. I was thrilled when I found and was afforded the opportunity to be a part of the Build It Up Program. The staff has been essential in my success in gardening over the past year, now going on two. My neighbors think I’m crazy because my garden is in my front lawn of the tree streets (hey, that’s where the best sun is!). My wife likes to joke around about my obsession over my “micro-farm”. I cannot tell you a better program to get involved with for gardening. Whether you’re a beginner, novice, advanced or somewhere in the middle; I promise you’ll learn something. I cannot wait to see the results of this year’s crop. And if you’re in the tree streets and see me out in my micro-farm, barefoot, and enjoying the crops or sunshine; feel free to wave and know I haven’t lost my mind just yet.