Q: Why do you want to participate in this Project?
A: I’m a big believer in young talent learning community leadership, professional communication and project management skills. Real life skills create ready leaders. So at one level I was very interested in helping to facilitate that for an NC State student — which I was one too back in the day.
But also on another level, one of the reasons I wanted such a large acreage for my yard in this part of town is so my daughter and I could have different offerings in our yard. However, the reality is that it can also be overwhelming to know what to do where—so I could really use some expert advice! It seemed to me to be the ideal symbiotic relationship.
Q: Have you ever grown food before?
A: I have grown tomatoes, lettuces and herbs with varying success. It was sometimes hard for me to see why one thrived where another failed. And the information you can get online can also be very overwhelming or not transferable. Similarly the help you get even at a good nursery can also be tricky because they haven’t really seen your yard. So I expect that a big part of the experience will be an education for me! So I can be more consistently successful and motivated to keep growing.
Q: How will growing your own food benefit your family?
A: Well, of course, I plan on making sure it's used on our table and in our cooking at home. But I also see some other ways to use the food. For example, when my daughter get home from school, she often likes some time on her own outside near where one of the places that are planned as a garden with Victory Garden’s help. She excitedly tells me that now when she goes to that spot she will have the additional comfort of having something beautiful and lively to look at — and perhaps have a quick snack! I also am an active volunteer in my daughter’s classroom. So we will look for ways for my daughter to share (and show off) the products of our garden to encourage other kids to do the same and for me to integrate our experiences into lessons for the class.
Q: Tell us about your book?
A: "Place Match: The City Doctor’s Guide to Finding Where You Belong” is really dating and marriage guide for finding your place. Today, people are prioritizing where they want to live and quality of life like never before. But how do you find the place that you belong? It’s a very important question because where you choose to live will affect every aspect of your life and can may the difference in you living your best life, or not. However, most people don't know how to find their right place, or the science behind the journey. The premise of the book is finding the right place is a lot like finding the right partner to share your life. So I apply a dating and marriage framework to the journey with place to make it more relatable and actionable for the reader. It’s available through my website: city-doctor.com (where Victory Garden folks can use promo CARY to get 20% off!), amazon (no promo), and is also available in all Wake County Public Libraries.
Q: How does home gardening fit into #placematch?
A: Gardening represents one way we with bond with our place. It creates an important cocktail for finding belonging in a place: an opportunity to interact with the environment, in physical setting that is (or will be) attractive, and can be equally accessible and scalable to all needs and experience. There is no doubt that finding your #placematch starts at home. Making that garden/yard a place you feel you belong.
From there, people seek the same belonging to the larger city. And when the bond or even love you have at home match the feelings you have in the larger place, a #placematch is born. The science is clear that the resulting feelings of #placematch, which are belonging, love, and attachment, allow humans to thrive, be their best selves in that environment, and give back to the place that gives them those feelings in big and little ways. A most critical and worthy goal of our life experience.