I get my inspiration and drive for self-sufficiency and gardening from my grandmother. My most cherished and vivid memories are as a young child watching her preserve the bounty of the large garden planted outside our small house. I remember planting potatoes and digging them up. Hot summers under the shade of the raspberry vines, gorging myself on ripe red jewels. Feeling the cold depths of the root cellar my grandfather cut out under the house, lined with her rows of Mason jars. My first ever experience with hunting was in those days, seeing the doe strung up outside waiting to be cleaned. My first ever encounter with livestock – and not just a flock of chickens but cows, sheep, and horses- was at my aunt’s house. We picked wild blue berries in the back yard of her farm. I drank raw cows milk for the first time. I still remember the thick, rich taste all these decades later.
At the time it wasn’t “organic” or “pure”, “self-sufficient” and “sustainable” didn’t pass our lips. We walked to church, only a mile or so, not because we were being eco-friendly but because it was common sense. We ate out of the garden with dirt under our nails and put away for tomorrow what was too abundant today. I was only a small girl when my grandmother died and we moved away but those lessons taught through observant eyes still stay with me.
These are my roots. This is what gives me the passion I have today for conscious living and urban farming. I’ve put together a list of my education and experience which you can see below. My raw hunger for knowledge will probably never cease (I hope it never will) and I’ll make changes as my list grows. I have a few other things coming up this year already.
Education and Experience
Ashworth College – Graduated 2012
A.A. in Early Childhood Education GPA 3.42
Ashworth College – Currently Enrolled
Landscape Design Certification course
South West Institute of Healing Arts – Currently Enrolled
Urban Farming Educator Certification
Columbia County Extension Office – Completed
Farmer’s Market Compliance Course
Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program – Completed
Organic Seed Production
Life Cycle of the Japanese Beetle : Treatment methods for better control
Strategic Farm/Ranch Business Planning and Marketing
Sustainable Agriculture : Basic Principles and Concept Overview
Organic Horticulture Training for the Southeast – Completed
Animal Experience and Education
2009-2011 – Raised and bred Angora Rabbits. Member of American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA). Hands-on experience with care, breeding, and fiber processing.
2009-2012 Raised chickens, geese, ducks and turkeys. Hands-on experience with care, breeding, egg sales and butchering.
2010 – learned how to spin raw wool into yarn on a spinning wheel.
2011 – Hands-on experience with basic goat care and milking. Extensive research into breeds and care requirements specific to Florida.
Hands-on experience with basic sheep care and after-birth lamb processing (tagging, shots, etc.). Extensive research into breeds and care requirements specific to Florida.
Books I’ve Read