Monadnock Grows Together: Meet Rachel!
Hello, garden friends!
I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Rachel Brice, and this year I have the privilege of serving as Cheshire County’s Urban Ag and Gardens Coordinator. A big part of my role, and one that’s really exciting to me, is the chance to talk to other people about their gardening adventures! I love talking about, working in, and being around gardens and plants.
I grew up in a small town in southeastern Iowa, helping my dad out in his backyard garden. I also loved to help my grandma, when we would take trips to visit her in Lancaster County, PA. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had my hands and my bare feet in the dirt (and if you see me in the garden, it’s still likely to be without shoes!). So, I got my gardening start in “zone 5,” which is quite similar to much of Cheshire County.
Before moving to the area to pursue graduate studies at Antioch University, I had been living in central Texas for about ten years, and for two years before that I was living in southern California. After 12 years with no real winter season to speak of, moving to New England was quite the gardening adjustment! But I am loving it, and loving watching my plants grow big and strong (those that aren’t being mowed down by cut-worms or devoured by flea beetles).
Although I am a life-long gardener, I feel uncomfortable with words like “expert.” Lots of folks I talk to have been gardening and growing longer than I’ve been alive, and I’m always learning new things! My philosophy is that nobody knows everything about gardening, and it’s always an exciting challenge, from day one. Whether you’re at the place in your journey where you’re just getting ready to plant your first seed, or whether you’re somebody who’s been gardening for decades, I think it’s always lovely to connect with someone else and talk about your plants.
I garden organically, which means I don’t use chemical herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, or fertilizers. If you have questions about those things, I will certainly try to help you find answers, but I won’t be able to speak from any personal experience. I don’t mind sharing some of my plants with the bugs and the birds, so my first step is usually to leave things alone and see if they resolve. I like experimenting. I plant flowers with my veggies. I like to share. And I think there’s no happier place on earth than a well-loved garden!
I hope you reach out! I’d very much like to talk to you and learn with you. I’ll be keeping this blog throughout the season (and maybe beyond?), to share garden adventures, tips and tricks, photos, tales of disaster and success, and many other tidbits.
Written by: Rachel Brice
Urban Ag & Gardens Coordinator