Feature Month: Kellie

I saved my last feature of 2021 for today because, as it turns out, today’s feature is my mother and it’s her birthday. Happy birthday, mom!! XOXO

Name: Kellie Heise

State: New York

Grow Zone: 4b

Gardening style (container, raised bed, tilled plot, etc.): Containers and tilled plot

How long have you been gardening: Over 30 years

Why do you garden: Relaxation and good eats!

Do you typically garden alone or with friends/family/pets: Alone and with my husband.

Biggest success of 2021 season: Garlic, tomatoes and peppers.

Most unfortunate failure (lesson) of 2021 season: Onions planted in very wet soil in a wet spring environment and output was very low.

What is your most used gardening tool: Scissors for snipping!

Favorite plant that you’ve ever grown: Tomatoes, I love the smell of them and all of the wonderful things you can do with them. It’s very rewarding to open a jar of salsa, pizza sauce, diced tomatoes or soup in the winter and know that you did that from seed.

What are you most looking forward to growing in the future: Drying beans (black, pinto, kidney, etc.)

One last piece of advice for our readers: Be patient with weak plants that look like they won’t survive. Plants have an unsurpassed will to live!

My mother is obviously where my deep-seated love for gardening scissors/shears comes from. Who would have known!? All jocularity aside, this tomato queen has developed quite the reputation. I now have friends reaching out to request my mom’s canned tomato goods from far and wide. Not to mention, her preserving practices extend far beyond tomatoes. She pickles, she freezes, she makes jams and apple sauce, pie fillings and more. If you want to talk preserving with my marvelous mom, leave your thoughts in the comments section below. Or, you can just wish her a happy birthday and save the garden chitchat for another day. Cheers, friends!

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