Mary Lou Brown

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Listed in United States


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I’m a 63-year-old grandmother who is hooked on vegetable gardening. That is such a strange thing for me to say—when I was growing up all I knew about gardening was my mother making me help plant azaleas—and I HATED IT. But a really wonderful thing happened to me about 3 years ago—I decided to give growing a tomato plant a try. Now I live in Myrtle Beach, SC—not the best soil for growing veggies—my mother (who had already proved she could grow lots of flowers and bushes) had tried to grow tomatoes and failed; my husband (who grew up in the country gardening) had tried and failed. In fact, my husband told me that I wouldn’t be able to do it—but I was determined to try. And I DID IT. I grew a tomato plant and it bore fruit—we had homegrown tomatoes!
I was hooked on growing vegetables at home. Over the winter, my husband found out about straw bale gardening. He bought me the book online. I read Straw Bale Gardening by Joel Karsten and it changed my life.
I searched for straw bales—let me tell you, they are not easy to find in Myrtle Beach in the spring. Found landscaping straw bales at a nursery nearby and off I went. That was two years ago and there is no going back.
I have expanded to converted flower gardens and raised beds, BUT STRAW BALE GARDENING IS MY BEST AND BIGGEST PART OF MY EVER-EXPANDING VEGETABLE GARDEN. I am starting to study permaculture. My newest project is making a hügelkultur raised bed from a hurricane toppled pecan tree.

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