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Tending My Garden – in the news

The following is an article written at the request of Ruth Herrink, publisher of the Journal newspaper in King George County, Virginia. It was published July 11, 2011 and I thought you might be interested in reading it since it tells how I started gardening.

Here it is:

I received a phone call from my long-time friend Ruth Herrink (publisher of the Journal) the other day asking me to write the story  of how I got started in gardening and why I started my website

That story began in 1978 when – at 36 years of age – my husband, Bill, and I moved to the Northern Neck with $80 to our name, a truck that belonged to the bank in Baltimore, and a little dog named Shag. The reason we moved here is even more unusual: We wanted my husband to be able to earn a living with his artistic ability and everything was here that he wanted to paint.

I know it doesn’t sound too smart and it probably wasn’t.  Nonetheless, although we experienced years of doing without just about everything – the story had a happy ending and we now make our living by Bill’s artistic abilities. (You can check out his work at

After that overview you have probably already guessed why I started gardening.  If you guessed “to have something to eat” you guessed correctly.

Fortunately, I’ve had great success in gardening.  Our garden continues to feed us most of the year.  In past years I raised enough to market my produce and for many years sold to an organic food store in Richmond. I still sell organic vegetables and perennials to individuals on a limited basis.

Because of our past experiences Bill and I are always looking to the future and trying to determine what skills we’ll need to continue to earn a living for ourselves.  Since computer skills seemed an obvious choice, I started my website,, to better learn those skills.  Little did I realize at the time that my easy way of gardening would be an encouragement to so many gardeners.

TendingMyGarden is a website that helps new and seasoned gardeners easily achieve greater success with their organic gardens. Unique among organic gardening sites there’s “no overwhelm – just practical – common-sense advice that works.” Another reader writes, “I like your way of gardening! Not much hassle but great rewards.”

I’ve been gardening almost 35 years, many of those years without a nickel to spend.  I’ve learned over the years what is needed and what is hype. My knowledge comes from first hand experience and observation.  Many times it’s been the “dire necessity” element in a situation that has brought to light what really is possible.

One of my readers who has been gardening almost as long as I have wrote to me saying “Gardening is so much easier and productive since I’ve met you, Theresa. I really mean that–you have helped me so much! I used to break my back fighting weeds, poor soil, etc. Not any more!”

If you’d like to garden and want to do it the easy way, I hope you’ll visit me at my website TendingMyGarden. com. It’s much easier to absorb information in the form of stories and in little pieces than to review great volumes of “how to” information.  Here a little, there a little is the easiest way to learn.

I’ll look forward to the possibility of “seeing you” there.


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