Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to introduce you to Farmer John. Farmer John is the Master Yoda of gardening. He has been a cherished family friend for many years, but it wasn’t until last year the he and I really began our gardening relationship. I could not have asked for a more generous, knowledgeable, patient or kind teacher.
I have definitely gained XP and gone up at least 5 levels since Farmer John has tutored me. He began by teaching me the most simple and obvious things (yet I hadn’t done it), like properly sharpening and lubricating my tools and putting them away in storage when I’m not using them instead of leaving them out in the rain. He got me up on my first orchard ladder, and taught me proper ladder safety (thou shalt respect the ladder. Don’t get off balance, overreach, or go up on a ladder when you’re alone.) We grafted fruit trees. I never in my life thought I’d figure out grafting, but he taught me how and opened up a whole new universe of possibilities. He helped me paint the tender trunks of my new trees white to protect them from sunburn. And most of all, he showed me what an enormous difference having a mentor can make and how lucky we are to find them.
You’ll hear about Farmer John a lot in this blog. I wanted to give him credit for his role but also to remind us all to thank our teachers, past and present, for all the help they give us. And then do our best to pass our knowledge on to the next crop of gardeners, that we as a group will continue to thrive for many generations to come.
So here’s to all the teachers out there, we salute you!