Gardener Story: Linda Hendricks
Our family moved down to beautiful Northeast Tennessee almost 3 years ago. I always called myself the girl with the purple thumb up north and that if I looked at plants the wrong way they would wither and die. And then about three years before we moved down to Tennessee, I started experimenting with a very small garden because I longed to have some freshly ground vegetables. When my thinking changed, my ability to grow things changed.
When we moved here, we had 14 acres and I wanted to be able to grow things for our family,for our neighbors, and maybe even for the community at large. I wanted to grow organically and wanted to learn proper ways to do things. In 2017 I started with farmer’s field school. Through Farmer’s Field school, I found out about Build It Up And finally found the education I was looking for in detail about organic gardening. I am so grateful for this program. I received step-by-step information that help me to know that I was on the right pathway for organic gardening. Every single aspect of this program has been wonderful and I would encourage one and all to get back to nature and know what you are eating.
Last year I was able to even go to a couple local farmers markets in the Bristol area to sell my organically grown produce. My goal last year was to sell $1000 worth of goods and to get a farm number so that perhaps this year I could see about getting a high tunnel built and be able to apply for some reimbursements. I am optimistic about this growing year and i’m excited about other farming opportunities. This will be the third year since I started growing strawberries and asparagus (since they are perennial ) and it’s so wonderful to see everything doing its own thing with very little maintenance.
I started making organically grown strawberry jam last year and it seemed very popular at the market. Toward the end of the growing season I also started marketing my own pesto sauce made from the basil that I grow. Our family loves basil! And it seemed that others do too.
Bottom line is this… It’s never too late to start eating right. It’s never too late to start doing something different. And knowing that my grandbabies are getting this good food from the beginning of their lives instead of the end of their lives is so gratifying.