Friday, December 17, 2010

Sustainable Agriculture Class

I can't wait to be a part of this experience, learning from those that know more than me, teaching those that want to be a part of the land. Class starts in April!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Just had to re-post this.

I love this planting of 'Mine No Yuki' Camellias. I wrote about them last year, but I wanted to share it again. 'Mine No Yuki' continues to be one of the very best Camellias available.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

I love this.

I drive all the time. Plants can't come to me, so I go to them. That means that within the states of North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia I know every inch of road, every clean bathroom and every decent (and not-so-decent) place to get a bite to eat.

And I get to see the quirky, off-the-beaten-path places that make the South great. One of my favorites is this building on the way to Bishopville, South Carolina. I'm guessing it was some sort of speakeasy- I don't think people go there anymore because I've never seen a car nearby and it's nothing but cotton fields for miles.Every time I drive by, I think, What drove someone to ban people under the age of 35? Was he sick of hearing the trivial banter of those between the ages of 21 and 34?
Do they card?

I can't imagine the crowd that used to hang out at the "35 and Over" club. I don't think anyone would dare enter without a previous invitation. Cinder block, barred windows, gated door. No thank you.

Still, I've driven past it at least once a month for six years and it makes me smile every time. I'd love to know the back-story.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Next spring, I think I'm going to try to imprint either a fledgling Chickadee or Puffin.

Going to Carolina In My Mind

My first real job (by real, I mean I had made the leap from hourly to salaried) was at Carolina Nurseries in Moncks Corner, South Carolina. I loved it.

I was 24 and new to the Lowcountry. Just a month before, I had finished by master's degree at the University of Georgia and I was long overdue to get my hands in the dirt. It was the hardest work I have ever done and I learned how to drive tractors, fix irrigation pipe and manage the most unruly group of employees that you could imagine.

I worked so hard that between September and Christmas, I lost a noticeable amount of weight and when I returned home for the holidays my dad accused me of having developed an eating disorder. My pudgy grad student body had turned into a lean farmer's physique (oh, to have it now!).

In sadness, I went back to the place that sprouted my career on their last day of operation. I wasn't going to go but the pull of that 700-acre farm was too great and I made the 45-minute drive from James Island to "The Monkey" one last time.

I thought I'd share some memories from my time at the farm. They were the most carefree of my life and I don't know if I've ever laughed and enjoyed myself more.

Scouting Plants.

Jimmy Altman with his prized Hydrangeas.

Perfection, in plants.

Me, driving the biggest tractor on the farm. That's right.

Gorgeous 'Twice as Nice' Daylilies.

My BFF Mindy in her "office" doing paperwork

I'm good at growing plants now because of what I learned then. Graduate school was good, but it wasn't practical. It took three years of dust-covered sweat to understand how to grow all different types of plants. I have much to learn, but my education started at Carolina.


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