Introducing David Drum
I have pleasant boyhood memories of flower and vegetable gardens. My maternal grandfather was a retired mechanic and rural mail carrier who raised cut flowers. He farmed maybe two acres of chrysanthemums in Maize, Kansas. The old farmhouse he renovated was surrounded by rows of flowers, blooming in all the colors of the rainbow. He and my grandmother also grew roses, Iris, gladiolas, carnations, violets and violas and even raised a few chickens.
I remember helping my grandfather plant tiny chrysanthemum seedlings and pinch their tops to make them bush out. I occasionally pushed a small plow through the rich black Kansas loam to cultivate between rows of flowers and moved irrigation pipes around, more or less my first experience of work. My grandparents stored the cut flowers in one-gallon tin cans in their garage until customers picked them up, and I thought they had the best-smelling garage in Kansas.
I need a connection with the earth. Working in the Throop garden allows me to learn from other gardeners and give something back to the children and adults who stroll through our lovely and diverse community garden and to the creatures that live there."
In Conover, North Carolina, my paternal grandparents planted a large vegetable garden on a slope behind their house every summer. Raised on small farms, these grandparents thought nothing of growing their own food. Every spring, my grandfather plowed up the half acre of red North Carolina clay and planted corn, okra, tomatoes, squash, eggplant, cucumbers, and beans. My cousins and I sometimes helped pick, and at the end of the season my grandmother took us to the cannery to put up food for the winter.
In my twenties, I worked as a foreman on a commercial turkey ranch in the San Joaquin Valley for several years and I still I love working and being outdoors. I maintain a small garden at my house that includes lettuce that reseeds itself every year. I also grow tomatoes, sweet peas, grapes, and persimmon, pineapple guava, cumquat and orange trees. I compost food scraps and use rain barrels to work with nature as much as possible.
I need a connection with the earth. Working in the Throop garden allows me to learn from other gardeners and give something back to the children and adults who stroll through our lovely and diverse community garden and to the creatures that live there.