Gardener Story: Hannah Kiger
The Build It Up program came into my life at a crucial moment. I suffered a miscarriage in December 2020, so I came into the spring feeling emotionally and physically broken. I think because of the miscarriage, I felt both a compulsive need to successfully grow something, but simultaneously felt that I wasn’t capable of creating anything beautiful. Looking at my lush, healthy, chaotic garden now, I can see how important it has been in my healing process.
Being a part of the BIU program has been a life-giving experience for me in so many ways. For one thing, growing a garden is like witnessing a miracle every day. I can’t tell you how many times I would feel myself sinking into darkness this spring, only to be pulled out of myself when I got outside to work in the sunshine and soil.
Having to create a detailed garden plan and then execute it forced me to think strategically and creatively about the future at a time when imagining the future was really hard. The accountability aspect of the program was also helpful – it kept me moving when all I really felt capable of was laying on the couch. And learning about things like soil health and insects has been empowering, as weird as that sounds.
I’ll be forever grateful to BIU for giving me the knowledge, tools, support, and motivation I needed to create something really beautiful.