KATHLEEN MILLER, inventory & herb specialist
My fondest memories of gardening were with my grandmother, who raised herbs for cooking and medicine, using old fashioned methods, we call “organic” today. Together with my mother, we lived off the vegetable garden, harvesting and canning its bounty. Checking for borer, with dad, among the 200 varieties of irises on my parents’ six acre farm, did not endear me to them, but he taught me fruit tree grafting. My formal degree was in accounting, however, my passion was for growing beans, not counting them. So, in my mid forties, I took horticulture and landscape courses at Cleveland State, passed the International Arborist Certification, completed a grafting certificate from Cornell University in New York, and landed a job with Willoway Nursery in Avon, Ohio. I was an inventory specialist and worked in propagation during the winter. I use different approaches to growing such as square foot gardening, companion planting and container growing. I still preserve enough berries off my husband’s brambles to feed us all winter. I also create ferment foods, like Kombucha. I am starting my second year at Mulberry Creek but still have time to volunteer, read and enjoy musicals. I love spending time with my 12 grandchildren, teaching them to garden, cook and sew. I knit, crochet and weave. I am an avid genealogist. I love pouring through seed catalogs, finding unusual plants to grow for the grand kids, walking to the garden after a rain and smelling the rich earth. My friends tell me, I’ll die with a hoe in my hands.