Today I want to share with you where I developed a passion for and learned all about plants so I can share this ‘oinkment’ with all of my friends. Let’s begin…
It all started when I was 8 years old. My dad was able to convince my 12 year old brother and I that mowing grass for the neighbors was fun. We had a push mower and an electric weedeater. It wasn’t long before my grandfather’s neighbor decided he was too old to cut his yard, and traded us his little 30 inch rear engine riding mower for two years of grass cutting. That is where we became a business. We bought a gas weedeater and a gas blower with our earnings. Over the next couple of years, we were able to get the chamber of commerce yard to mow, and that opened doors that we could not have had otherwise. Obviously, we could not drive ourselves, so my grandfather and my dad would drive the trailer to the yard, drop us off, and we would call them when we were done. We were so excited to work 4 hours on one yard to make $25. (I don’t work anymore 4 hours for $12.50!!) Now remember this was the early 90’s when a cell phone was the size of a briefcase and 100 min per month cost a lot of money.
Now, my brother turned 16 and he bought a truck with his money and now we were off to the races. We were mowing about 25 yards per week at this point. I had rigged all the equipment with lights. Car fog lights on the riding mower, and large flash lights on the weedeater and blower. We would literally get out of school at 3 o’clock, run home, change, load up the trailer and head out to mow. Mow until about 7 or 8, come home and eat supper and do homework. We didn’t have time to get in trouble or do extracurricular activities. When we weren’t mowing, we were out on the boat waterskiing!! (We never worked on Sundays, so in between church was lake time!)
1994, my brother went off to college, and I started high school, but he commuted home every weekend. I started hiring friends and people to help me mow during the week, and my brother would help me on Friday and Saturday. During this time, we mowed to a new house that had a next door neighbor that had almost tilled up a half acre of her backyard to plant all kinds of random flowers. I would spend any free time over there walking and talking with her learning the flowers, when they bloom, how tall they get, how they multiply, etc. It was very intriguing. It also helped that she had two pretty daughters!! Anyway, in 1997, I joined the FFA at the high school and got involved in the Nursery and Landscape CDE event. I had to identify 100 plants by any part of the plant that they laid on the table. I had to be able to identify over 125 weeds, diseases, or insects that effect plants. The contest had a landscape design to be evaluated and a 100 answer test on ‘General Knowledge’. That means it could be any question about any topic, about any subject. What a contest!! That alone kicked off my Landscaping career. I graduated high school in 1998 and began to grow the business as fast as I knew how. Tried comm. College for a semester and a half and decided to work instead.
I got married in 2001 and was my own contractor and built a house in Mt. Juliet, TN. I started working part time with a home repair company to learn about home maintenance issues and ended up doing an 800 sq ft. addition on my in-laws house and remodeled another home that I purchased when I sold the first house I built. In 2007, I bought a 3 acre Garden Center because I just wanted to play with plants all day long. In 2009, I started teaching anyone that would listen about what I know about plants etc. and because of the economy, shut down the retail garden center location in August ’09, and now work from my farm selling and growing plants wholesale. I have all the chemicals that I am shipping across country for anyone that needs them.
Now that I have some free time again, I have joined a tech company and am taking their education called “Surviving Business” and teaching it to all kinds of groups all over the area. Survivebusiness.com is the website if you want to check it out.
Well, there’s me in a nutshell. This is why I feel qualified to offer “Oinkment” for the yard and garden. Tell all your friends and relatives that all the answers can be found here at ThePiggPin.com.