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  • Jennifer Jewell


Photos Courtesy of Frailty Myths, All rights reserved.

Rarely in most of our lifetimes has there been such an obviously perfect time to garden – for food, for fresh air, for mental clearing, for beauty and hope – AND FOR FOOD. This week Nicole Johnsey Burke of joins us for some Kitchen Garden direction. Nicole Burke is a gardener and an entrepreneur. She is the founder of an online platform all about the hows and whys and wherefores and whatfors of growing gardens for food, and where gardeners of all levels find inspiration, instruction, and community all about growing a kitchen garden. Her new Book, The Kitchen Garden Revival is due out soon. But even before it is ready - her website and her online presence are rich with information and ready and able to help you grow yourself. She also has a new podcast entitled Grow Your Self - "Surprising stories about the food you eat everyday and help to start to grow some herbs, salad, and vegetables yourself. Hosted by Nicole Burke, Owner of Rooted Garden and Gardenary Inc., Grow Yourself will wake you up to the wonder that's sitting on your plate and inspire you to change your life by growing in a garden of your very own." Make sure to check it out!

Nicole and I spoke in early February and it is remarkable to me how prescient that conversation now seems with most of us on stay home orders and feeling a deep need to be outside cultivating any garden space we’re able to.

Join us again next week when we begin our celebrations of Earth Day in a conversation with Rebecca Burgess, founder of a movement known as FiberShed and author of the book of the same name. Together we grow!

There are soooooo many ways people engage in and grow from the cultivation of their places.





Thinking out Loud this week...


Ok So thinking out loud this week –

I think this particular time in our history – of stay-home orders, of health and financial and environmental concerns feeling more pressing, perhaps more hopeless than ever – holds out a set of interesting options of us.

In our conversation Nicole describes her own mental practice of trying to overcome her own issues with the worthiness of her work – like trying to even have an official name for what she does, her work to overcome the very real dreaded imposter syndrome, of choosing at her most metaphorical to pay close attention to the truth that that which we water the most with grow the most – that to which we dedicate the most resources will flourish.

These scary conditions of our greater world could be the perfect time for our most worried or skeptical inner voices to dominate – and there’d be plenty of cause for that, we have a lot of time on our hands to let our brains spin on what we cannot control.

And while we cannot control everything in the garden and nor do we really want to once we come to the joys of gardening – the garden, a trail, a collection of window-sill herbs or houseplants is firmly offering out for us an alternative to the allure of negative mental spin. It is offering us a focus on what we can grow, what we can create, what we can work to sustain and add to our world – starting right where we are. Even if – as Nicole says she first did with her first little backyard garden all those years ago – your first attempts to grow are not exactly to plan – perhaps it will be enough of a spark to keep you growing forward.

It’s certainly worth a try….

I love Nicole’s obvious zeal for her work – and her work – and her clear understanding that to be a good gardener and a good businesswoman can go hand in hand. In our correspondence back and forth, she shared with me a quote that moves her from Kobe Bryant along the lines of: It doesn’t matter if you are great, it matters if you are full enough of greatness to share it and make other people great.

In this time of anxiety, worry, fear and loss – I am holding this quote as a mantra for our time. In the garden and out.

Take care of yourselves and of each other – which includes all of our living creatures – wash your hands – and but also keep them good and dirty in the garden as you are able. Together we grow!




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