Kit Howe, Human resources

Kit Howe

Employee-owner since: 1989

My gardening style: I've been gardening for about 30 years, but during the last five years I have taken it to a higher level. I've expanded my perennial gardens and started planting more shrubs and trees. My husband and I live in a 220-year-old house that we have renovated and generally made beautiful over the last 27 years. About 23 years ago we planted 130 apple trees, as well as a few pear and cherry trees and 40 blueberry bushes.

Vegetables or flowers?: Both. My heart – and most of my energy – goes to the flowers. Of course, a vegetable garden can be beautiful as well. Mostly, I let the local farmers grow my veggies but I like to grow lettuces, spinach, herbs, kale, chard, tomatoes and green beans in my tiny kitchen garden.

Best gardening tip I ever got: Put your kitchen garden close to your kitchen. Duh!

Best gardening tip I give: Fertilize! I use Pro-Gro, a fertilizer made in Vermont, on everything.

Why I like working here: Gardener's Supply is owned by its employees, which is a huge motivator for me and regular and seasonal staff who return to work our busy seasons year after year. I like our open-book management style and the opportunities to give input. I love having a cat at work. Spike, the "warehouse kitty" has been with us for more than 12 years. I also love the employee discount – though I never want to see my lifetime total of purchases after more than 20 years here.

Free-time activities: Gardening, sailing, skiing, snowshoeing, reading, watercolor painting.

What people probably don't know about me: I started the girls' lacrosse team at Mount Mansfield Union High School in Jericho, VT. My daughter (then 14) was playing on the boys' team because there was no girls' team. She begged me to help, so we started a club that became an official school team two years later. Six years after that, they won the state championship in their division.

My big idea: My friends and I want to "garden mob" each other's gardens. We'd go to someone's home as a group to help them get the weeding or planting done. Scheduling that has been difficult, which speaks greatly to our need to do it.

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