by Alli Kling and Savannah Schroering
Junior Megan Stapp carefully waters her plants in her garden, pridefully watching each one grow. Gardening has become more popular in recent years, and with spring now underway, multiple students and faculty are beginning to grow a variety of plant life.
“I started with my mom because she used to garden whenever she was younger, and wanted to teach life lessons through it while also getting fresh produce,” said Stapp. “My grandparents still garden today and continue to help us with ours.”
Stapp spends a lot of time with her garden, taking time out of her day to make sure that it is in excellent shape.
“I’m not going to lie, gardening does take time. I’d say after plowing and planting everything, it takes about four to five hours each week to go through and water, pull weeds, and harvest,” said Stapp.
In the end, the hard work is worth it for Stapp.
“It’s rewarding to see all of your efforts pay off whenever you start to see things growing and being able to eat what you’ve grown,” said Stapp. “It is a responsibility, but once everything is up and running, you get to sit back more and watch everything happen.”
Like Stapp, spanish teacher Heather Bradley also enjoys gardening and growing vegetables such as peas, tomatoes, and, once, carrots. She also grows peppers, squash, cucumbers, and herbs.
“I started [gardening] just because it was fun, it was nice to have fresh vegetables out, and then it just grew a little bit every year. When I had kids, it became a fun thing that they can do with me,” said Bradley. “It also became a way to encourage them to eat vegetables. If they grow it, they’re more willing to try to eat it than if it’s just from the store. It actually works.”
Bradley explained how gardening has become more common because of popular trends.
“I think gardening now is almost more trendy, and more accessible. It’s easy to find high quality seeds, and it’s easy to find organic materials, because people want to do it,” said Bradley.
Sophomore Madelyn Lopp is another student that enjoys gardening. She grows tomatoes, watermelons, apples, lettuce, arugula peppers, spinach, marigolds, zinnias, and kale.
“I have been gardening since I was a baby,” said Lopp. “Both sets of my grandparents gardened. They showed me everything and basically ignited my love of gardening. I learned everything from them.”
Gardening has become a fun and entertaining hobby for many over the years, and with the numbers of people with green thumbs on the rise, more and more lovely gardens are on display during the spring/summer seasons.
“I grow Zucchini, tomatoes, squash, and lettuce. We’ve been gardening since I was 10, so for about six years,” said Stapp.
On the other hand, Bradley has been gardening for 10 years, and now cares for two small raised beds filled with various vegetables, herbs, and vines, but peas remain her go-to.
“When [the peas] are outside growing, the kids’ll say, ‘Oh it’s so cool. I want to pick it!’ and they’ll eat it. They love it,” said Bradley.
Though the fresh peas are a family favorite, she explains that peas are not her first choice when it comes to picking what to eat.
“I personally love having big fresh tomatoes. I could eat at least a tomato a day. But I like the peas because my kids will be playing outside and they’ll just walk over to the peas and eat them,” said Bradley.
Growing certain crops/plants does not always work out. In Bradley’s case, carrots gave her a hard season.
“Last year we did carrots for the first time, and I didn’t do too well with carrots, so I’m not sure if I’ll put carrots back out or not,” Bradley said with a laugh.
Gardening has become a hobby to both Stapp and Bradley, one they do not plan to stop anytime soon.
“I’ve been doing it for so long. I can’t imagine not doing it,” said Stapp.
Bradley extended Stapp’s statement by explaining that caring for a garden has a certain element other activities may not offer.
“I think for me that sometimes it’s a very calming hobby because you get to get out, get your hands dirty, kind of reconnect back with land. There’s just something about that that helps put things back into perspective if you’re stressed out,” said Bradley.
Bradley added in a final statement on gardening:
“Even if you screw it up, it’s still worthwhile. It’s one of those things that if you want to try it, you just jump right in and you’ll learn as you go.”