This year marked my third year growing a garden. I start dreaming of gardening on the heals of Christmas and New Years Eve. What will I grow? What shall I do differently this year? What worked for me and what didn’t work last year? Its an exciting time in my mind filled with all the possibilities. Every year I hope to do better than the next, maybe weed more plant something new.

Well this year I had the opportunity to enroll in the Build it Up program. And I am so thankful for the support, encouragement and knowledge I was gifted with. This year was also extra special because I had two little three year old’s I got to share my gardening experience with. They enjoyed counting the vegetables as they grew and assuredly enjoyed pulling them out of the ground even if at times it was a bit to early. On top of all the new knowledge, I was learning from my monthly classes, I got to meet many other gardeners from the area. We got to chat about what we were growing, what we learned and what worked and did not work for us. It was great to have a community of fellow gardeners. One of the most enjoyable aspects of the Build it up program were the cooking classes. It was so timely to have a class teachings us how to prepare, preserve and cook different things we had growing in the garden especially things you commonly have excess of. This took the fear of trying new techniques like canning out the window.

This was my third year growing a garden in beautiful East TN, so I hoped I would have all the highs for you but I have a few lows as well. My garden had a great start and it was as cute as you could imagine. However, I ended up being out of the country for a few weeks and with me not there to tend to it….the weeds crept in. Oh how satisfying it is to pull those little weeds up, its almost as satisfying as painting the wall in your house a new color.

Unfortunately, they got a little too comfortable and took over, but thankfully there was still so much to harvest and still so much more time. I also learned about ground bees and to be aware of them as summer comes to an end. I never knew skunks love to dig up those nests, but am so happy they do it. Summer is now coming to an end but the season for gardening has not come to an end. The good thing about gardening is you can always pull on your boots, pull out the weeds and start again. And that is my plan as we come into the autumn season. Maybe this time I will grow something new or pull some more weeds.