• In the fall my friend Cathleen gives me a butternut squash from her garden.


  • My roommate in Montpellier has several mint plants (and other greenery) out on the patio. While she’s gone for a week I’m on watering duty.

Tatiana Patio

  • Definitely inspired by my roommate, partway through my 2-month stay I buy a basil plant from the grocery store, which lives on the patio among the others.


  • My roommate Pascal in Montpellier has an organic garden growing in the front yard.

  • A few months into my stay I buy a basil plant and keep it out the kitchen window. Fresh basil all summer long!


  • March –¬†For two weeks I work on a small farm in Dozza, Italy in exchange for food and accommodation (via HelpX). They had a large garden in the front yard. During my stay I planted peas and salad, transplanted strawberries and garlic, and weeded. It was very enjoyable, and I started thinking about potentially planting my own garden at my parents’ home this summer…

Garden Dozza Italy

  • April – At the end of the month, upon returning back to Wisconsin, I buy seeds, rototill a chunk of the backyard, and plant my very first garden.


  • June – Some of the lettuce flowers, so I learn what that means and why you want to prevent it from happening, if possible.
  • August – After eating tons of green beans in July, this month my carrots, cucumbers, and a few beets are ready to eat. Kale is still very strong. All of the vegetables taste incredible!


  • Late August – The cucumbers are really taking over and growing well. I learn that two cucumber plants are more than enough for my next garden (I planted 3-4 this year), and that they need much more space than I gave them.



  • May – Returning to my parents’ home mid-month, one afternoon I make a quick above-ground planter using scrap wood, a few nails, and a hammer. Then I plant a variety of lettuce and kale from a seed packet I bought at the local hardware store.

  • In smaller planters, I plant basil, oregano, lavender, cilantro, green onion, and chives. I love watching them grow over the summer, and hopping outside to cut fresh herbs while cooking.
  • Partway through the summer I get some free tomato plants from a neighbor, and grow those as well.