At the end of my Rooting DC talk (link is my slides on Google Drive), an audience member came up to me and said "if you hadn't told us that you have stage fright, we never would have known." I had openly shared about my enduring stage fright right at the top of my talk, not to win the audience's sympathy, but to acknowledge my feelings so that I could set them aside and move on. And then I went on to speak for 54 of my allotted 60 minutes to a room full of people. :-)
In preparation for my talk, I binge-watched my favorite gardening shows, paying close attention to the demeanors of the show hosts. Three of my favorite gardening show hosts include Monty Don of Big Dreams, Small Spaces (Netflix), Patrick Dolan of One Yard Revolution (YouTube), and Joe Lamp'l of Growing a Greener World (PBS). What I admire about Monty Don is his ability to act as a facilitator in helping others to achieve their garden dreams. He listens deeply, providing advice without judgment. Patrick Dolan shares not only his vegetable garden successes, but his failures, which is an incredible educational resource. I've written previously about how much I admire his gardening principles. Joe Lamp'l clearly has a strong point of view regarding sustainability (it's in the title of the show) but he never comes across as preachy; instead, he tours exemplary gardens and praises the achievements of others. All three hosts project the encouraging message that gardening is for everyone, which is something that I firmly believe myself.
Unfortunately, I failed to get any photos of myself giving my talk this time. So if you weren't there and I don't see you regularly, you'll just have to imagine my currently overgrown short haircut like an 80's/90's action movie mullet. Instead, check out my winter-sown seedlings.
These broccoli raab seedlings were sown outdoors in late January, about a month ago, and kept on the sunny landing of my back steps. I removed the clear plastic dome lid for the photo, but otherwise, they remain covered at all times. Obviously, due to the colder temperatures, germination is erratic and they aren't growing very quickly, but they are growing nonetheless. I also have 6 varieties of lettuce, bok choy, and 'Piracicaba' broccoli. I'm also starting cool season herbs and early-blooming edible flowers this way: cilantro, parsley, viola, nasturtium, alyssum, and dwarf marigolds.