Over the last 20 years I have tried to start some type of business concerning growing plants. I love everything about plants, from the first seed emerging from a recent planting, to the beauty of flowers to the taste of a fresh tomato I grew myself. In 2000 I moved to Florida to be able to grow things all year long. In 2008 I was in the mortgage industry and saw some things I felt uncomfortable about and decided I had to give up the money to do what I loved. I cut my pay in half (not knowing this would be a bad year for all of America but happy to be out of that corrupt business) and went to work in a garden center to learn more about Florida growing and to possibly get in good with a grower. I loved my job and did have a few possible connections but whenever a woman gets into a “man’s club” she finds herself out numbered so I moved onto other things. My husband Michael bought a $25 lawn mover and started a landscape company. We struggled along for almost 3 years but we never charged enough. Our goal with the landscape business was to help people grow their own food and to start a CSA (Community Supported agriculture). A few years ago we both lost our temporary jobs a day apart from each other and as we had not been able to get back on our feet after the loss of the business we traveled around central Florida looking for others who might own land and let us farm it. While this did not turn out anywhere near where we hoped it would we did learn a great many valuable lessons about farming and living in different types of communities. We had opportunities to go to a few other states to try our had there as well but we are still here in central Florida.
There is much more to this struggle to find my “gardening way” but the point is that I have tried many different ways of going about this. I, like many, live in the city within confined spaces so the next step in this adventure is going to be to help others grow food in their limited spaces. In our small town we are lucky in that the city recycles the yard waste into “mulch” and we get to call up and have it delivered. This is great as we do not have money for soil nor a vehicle to go and get soil. We have had a great deal of luck with this process so far and will update you . We just harvested peas planted a few months ago in our free “mulch” and have been harvesting dill and cilantro for the last month or so. Today we have all kinds of new things coming up in the ground, in pots and other types of containers. We have squash, tomatoes, peppers, flax, dill, radish, spinach, cilantro and probably a few things I can’t remember right now. The point is that while it is good to have a plan, what’s more important is to be able to “roll with the punches”. Some people get lucky and know at an early age exactly what they want to do. For the rest of us, life is a struggle and without some type of goal it seems as if we are just stumbling along grasping for anything to find meaning in. Find meaning in yourself and your ability to help others. There are many more important things than finances. While I have not found how to live without money I have found that money truly does not bring happiness. Faith in yourself and faith in something bigger than yourself are truly where happiness comes from.