Monday, May 25, 2009

A New Voice in the ECC Garden Project

My name is Kelsey Swindler, and you will be hearing a lot from me as we continue to follow the ECC vegetable garden. I am (as many from my small town know) a lifelong resident of Wilmington. Usually when I introduce myself, the first question I get is “so which one do you belong to?”—referring, of course, to any of the (many) Swindler men and women that have lived and worked in Wilmington for generations. When I answer that I am, in fact, Phil’s daughter, I usually get a knowing nod, a couple of stories, and a question about how deep to plant a Beefsteak tomato plant.

I am the first to admit I don’t have all the answers. But, having grown up under the umbrella of the Swindler and Sons Florists and Greenhouse, I have naturally picked up some useful knowledge along the way. While still an “amateur” by family standards, many May days toiling in the greenhouses have taught me not only the basics of planting, maintaining, and harvesting vegetables, but also the many benefits that can be reaped from having a personal garden. My grandparents’ generation knew it all along—vegetable gardening is not only practical, but fulfilling. To see a plant from its seedling days to its fruition is remarkable, and guarantees the grower a vegetable that is safe, fresh, and cheap.

By continuing to follow the ECC vegetable garden, and the many others cropping up around town, I hope to learn more about the art to keeping a successful vegetable garden. And by passing along what I have learned, I hope you are inspired to try it out yourself.

As you start your own backyard garden, whether it is your first time or fiftieth, feel free to email any questions you may have to I will research your questions (running them through the Swindler family and other local resources) so that you get a knowledgeable response, and will post useful questions/answers here. And of course, let us know how your own vegetable garden is doing! This is your chance to contribute to the project—whether it is a few tricks you have learned throughout your years of gardening, or pictures of your own harvest.


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