Gardener Story: Audra Holmes

Our family moved to Tennessee this past fall (October 2020).  We knew we wanted to have a large and productive vegetable garden at our new home. This seemed like a daunting task and was something we began researching shortly after we moved.  Fortunately, we found Build It up, which has been instrumental in our ability to grow organic produce for our family.

Before moving to Tennessee and becoming involved with Build It Up, my husband and I have had varied results with gardening.  One year, the tomatoes did well.  So we planted them in the same spot the next year, and they did not do well.  We tried planting kale one August, but what the deer didn’t eat was covered with green caterpillars before it had much of a chance to grow.  And last year we lost half of our spaghetti squash to bugs.  Basically, we had enough failings to know we were in desperate need of help!  

Through the classes that Build It Up has provided this year, we have learned so much about what we did wrong in the past and what we needed to do differently this year.  We are proud to say that using the pesticide under Build It Up’s recommendation, we have been able to harvest 7 pounds of worm-free kale!  We also now know to look for squash bug eggs on our squash plants and have been able to “rescue” 32 pounds of spaghetti squash!  We are so ecstatic!  

While we have had a bountiful summer harvest, we are even more eager to begin on the next adventure of fall gardening.  This is a concept that we have had minimal exposure to.  We are so excited to try fall gardening and to learn how to be able to grow and harvest many of our favorite vegetables in the upcoming months.  We are looking forward to being able to continue eating fresh produce from our garden through the fall and into the winter.  Under the guidance of Lexi and Rosie, we are confident that we will be as successful with this endeavor as we have been with our summer garden.

While we still have so much to learn and improve upon, Build It Up has given us the jumpstart that we needed to be successful.  The resources that they have provided us with has made gardening a little less daunting and a lot more productive.  We are so grateful for the amazing resource that Build It Up is; they have truly helped us successfully garden in our new home.  


More images from Audra’s garden!