Millennial Gardener Feature Month – Andrew

Are you a part of the rat race that is corporate America? (or any other part of the world for that matter) Do you find yourself struggling to make time for anything other than work? Stressed? Overwhelmed? Need a break? Maybe it’s time for you to take a page out of Andrew’s book and give gardening a try. Multiple studies have revealed the therapeutic benefits of regularly retreating into nature to recharge, and gardening is a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Andrew contributes to the community gardening program offered by his company and he is reaping the rewards, big time. Let’s see what he has to say!

Name: Drew Kayserian

State: Maryland

Grow Zone: 7a

Gardening style: Raised beds

How long have you been gardening: Officially started 4 months ago but I have been eagerly researching for a year before that.

Why do you garden: Sometimes work can really weigh on my mind. I find the opportunity to step out for 20 minutes to prune, weed and water gives a certain sense of accomplishment that most days in the lab do not provide. Where I can have weeks of work and failure leading up to a monumental win, that success really only lingers for a day before the next round of experiments head my way.

Do you typically garden alone or with friends/family/pets: The majority of my gardening time is solo, but I get to share progress photos and veggie excitement with my team of 4 coworkers. We split the week up into solo watering days and group harvest days.

Biggest success of 2019 season: Our zucchinis have run amok, growing to 18 inches before we get a chance to pluck them! The team was worried that they would lose texture or flavor but the big guys were a-okay.

Most unfortunate failure of 2019 season: Our tomatoes were growing so well and seemed to be the only box in our garden that avoided the blight. We learned the hard way that it’s more a case of “when will the blight strike” not “if the blight strikes”. We still get a great amount of fruit from our plants but soon the leaves won’t be able to keep up. There’s always next year!

Favorite plant that you’ve ever grown: I’m a huge fan of spicy foods. This year we grew 4 kinds of peppers: 2 bell, 2 spicy. I cannot wait to make some hot sauce, guacamole, and cheddar jalapeno biscuits.

What are you most looking forward to growing in the future: If I can protect my future crop: blueberries. They’re my brother’s favorite fruit and I’ll get to make him a pie when he visits from NYC.

One last piece of advice for our readers: Change the things you can, honor the things you cannot. With the heat we have in Maryland, a few days without attention can kill off your prized veggies. Be sure to pick a few varieties and really stick with them.  Oh, and if you have some spare room in your garden, throw in some garlic. Every meal turns out better with garlic.

I couldn’t agree more, I’m looking forward to overwintering garlic this year myself! While the Mid-Atlantic may be laden with fungal pests, it is definitely a great climate for growing spicy peppers. I look forward to hearing about Andrew’s future pepper growing efforts and the success of this gardening team. If you have any questions for Andrew feel free to reach out in the comments below. Cheers, friends!

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