About the Gardener

My name’s Hillary, and I’m so glad you’ve found my little corner plot of the internet.

My goal for HomegrownHillary is to help other people get excited about gardening and teach them to feed themselves and their families. Good food brings people together, and I believe the best food is the kind that you used your own to hands to put on the table.

Personally, I remember learning first by helping my mother and grandmother in their gardens as a child, playing among the cornstalks and wood piles, and alerting my father when our have-a-heart trap had caught another carrot-nibbling groundhog.

As I grew older and started to take a more active role in caring for our family’s community garden plot, I realized there were quite a few gaps in my knowledge of what the heck I was doing. A friend suggested I become a certified Master Gardener through our local University Cooperative Extension, and I’ll be forever grateful to her for planting that idea! Not only did the course provide great foundational knowledge, but it also gave me a seemingly endless supply of resources, gardening friends, and projects to help the community with.

Since “graduating,” I’ve been busy.

I spent part of a summer teaching “Farm Camp,” a summer camp for teenagers in Central Maine which taught them about how best growing practices, food preservation, cooking, and the concept of subsidiarity can help solve food insecurity issues in our local communities.

As an alternative high school teacher, I make sure my kids have practice growing things. We periodically have done units on botany and plant biology, and there are always plenty of green things growing around my classroom for them to observe. (Which is how “Peter Parker” the spider plant became “Patricia Parker” after one student learned spider plants were hermaphroditic, and mine had just started reproducing. Man, I love teenagers.)

I also spent some time working with a local USDA representative, taking students on tours of local farms and advocating to get locally-grown food in our district’s school lunches (which finally started happening this March! Thank you, Farm-to-School grant!)

Hopefully, these guys will grow up eating leftover lunches and turn into delicious pork products for the students!

When I got married last spring and moved into my own house, I started the wonderfully exciting process of LITERALLY setting down roots, something I’ve been dying to start for years. Now that I have a newborn daughter, I’ve been reflecting on how everything comes full circle, and how soon my daughter will be the one running through rows of raspberry canes and climbing apple trees (whenever I get around to planting them, of course).

So come follow me as I get my home garden set up, ask questions and get answers, and join us at the communal dinner table. Just remember I have first dibs on the potatoes. 🙂

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