Gardening: From Worst to Best
When I was younger I always felt something was different -something different about me. My eyes always gravitated up towards the sky. For me, going to school never quite made me feel welcome because of this different connection that I had. I never really had many friends. I have always been a deliberate introvert. Since birth I have had social anxiety. It really made it hard to survive social situations sometimes. That never got the best of me though. Maybe I really am meant to do great things…
When I was about 14 I turned towards the concept of gardening. Utah is a drought state, so I figured why not explore ways to effectively garden. This was like my effective medicine. Plants taught me a lot about both myself and nature. I can do hard things with ease. Putting forth the mind will allow for huge success. There was still a void there, but each plant filled me with hope. Some of my most favorite plants I was growing myself, doubling the pounds of the end crop every year. Going from 200 pounds of tomatoes one year all the way to almost 400 pounds the next year. This was huge in my opinion. I had figured out, with extensive research and personal experience, that anything is possible.
In all actuality I began to feel better with myself and my goals. Figuring out the most basic necessity for growing a healthy, sustainable, and productive backyard garden was at my fingertips. This was my breakthrough. Being able to photograph my end product was huge in my eyes. Canning and preserving became a secondary nature to me. With all that was happening I felt highly inclined to help my family and I accomplish what seems impossible. Last year the garden was expanded to make room for strawberries. This patch allows the growth of ever-bearing strawberries, which allows for a year round production. Being smart about planting became my pure obsession.
The expansive list of gardening became longer and longer. This list expanded towards flowers as well. Being adaptive was my new trait. Gardening did not just prove myself, but it proved that anything is possible. When I converted over to growing plants directly in water indoors I became even more efficient at growing. In gardening the end goal is to have as much produce as possible with spending the least amount of money and using the least amount of water. As a homesteader I knew that this needs to be a top priority. Being from Utah made this even more pivotal. I was not doing this to make money or to sell at all, but I was merely doing this to keep and store food. My mind learned that humans can gain a connection with the earth.
The next chapter in my homestead farming career transferred over to chickens. Now I have become solely focused on the efficiency of both animals and plants. Finding a balance became a first priority of mine. Doing everything in the most humane way possible was my priority as well. Connecting to nature was the epiphany of my trials. I overall felt better than I did before. By the time I was 15 I began to be fairly great at taking care of and making sick plants thrive. My second title was known as the ‘green thumb.’
This year is my fourth year with this deeply rooted passion. I am hoping to double the crop production on my small plot of land because nothing is impossible. I have figured it out and I will continue to persevere through. My goal this year is to try a hand at quail, and so far it has been nothing but pure success. The epiphany of the story -my story- is this: having a deeply rooted connection with nature will help aid in life’s toughest challenges. I am a gardener and I am proud of it.
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My name is Jetta, and I am a student pilot currently attending Southern Utah University to become an airline pilot. Join me on my journey from zero to the left seat.