Part Two: The Ecology Patch
Managed solely by Theresa Strolberg, it is a rambling organic garden and orchard in Buhl, Idaho. She was generous with her knowledge from the moment we arrived, offering us fresh well water and talking while we ate our bagged lunch. What inspired me the most was seeing what one person can do because from the outside looking in, I couldn’t see head nor tails of it (it goes on and on) – and she does all of the work herself – plus selling at local farmer’s markets.Walking through the garden with us, she knew every single plant and bug – she knew everything about everything going on in that garden. There were homemade greenhouses built with old doors and hay, insect traps with sticky goo inside hanging from trees. Apple, pear, plum and peach trees just starting to bear fruit – hundreds of fruit will ripen on the trees. She had an amazing net for wrapping cherry trees to keep the birds out.
We should all learn more about sustainability and self-sufficiency. She is the meaning of recycling, using milk bottles and plastic canisters to keep plants warm, her garage stacked with cartons and boxes to reuse. Leading by example, she is the kind of person that each and every one of us can learn something from, no matter our age.
I have always wanted to be a gardener. There were some amazing gardeners in my family; my great-grandfather had a cacao plantation and was an avid orchid grower. My grandmother could grow anything – there were plants anywhere she could fit them. I have always felt I did not get that gene, having killed every plant I ever tried to grow. This is where I am going to ‘turn a new leaf’, haha. A few weeks ago, I planted four tomato plants, parsley, sage, thyme and oregano – that’s it for now – small and not overwhelming. For now I will aspire to one day have a garden like Theresa’s.