I think I have gardening in my blood. My Italian grandparents gardened and made wine in the Roman countryside. Summertime memories from my childhood include plates heaped with just-picked figs and peaches so juicy they'd drip all down my arm. My Nonno was so proud of his roses — if we didn't smell them, he said they might as well not exist. My Nonna loved their cherry tree that looked "like a bride" when in full bloom.
Gardening has continued to be a family activity for me. My kids think it's fun to pick spinach leaves right out of the ground for a quick snack — the same spinach they won't eat at the dinner table. Earthworms from the compost pile have been given names.
I've worked in the gardening industry since 1998, and feel lucky to be Product Testing and Coordinator for Gardener's Supply. I test products in our company's beautiful backyard, and truly enjoy working with fellow gardeners around the country, from a rooftop garden in New York City to the desert-like climate in Arizona. I think gardening really brings people together.
Back in 2009, we challenged members of our staff to come up with a video to answer the question: Why do you garden? We feel this video is one of the best. Deborah Miuccio, who created the video says, "I hope this video inspires more people to grow their own healthy food and to see how much fun it can be to get their kids involved in gardening."
Deborah, who involved her whole family in the project, admits that "I initially embarked on making the video because the contest prizes were enticing. But then it became much more. In fact, the video has become a family heirloom."
She got a lot of help from her sister Liana, who is a photographer. "We wanted to celebrate family, nature and the beauty of outdoor living in our precious and short summer season in Vermont," Deborah says. "Eating well and eating fresh are key ingredients in my family's Italian food heritage, and having a small vegetable garden in the backyard helps us keep that tradition going. "
The garden has always played an important role in her family. "Our kids think it's fun to run over and snatch spinach leaves right out of the ground and eat them for a quick snack — the same spinach that they would refuse to eat at the dinner table. My 3-year-old will often ask, 'Where does corn come from? How do chocolate chips grow?' I'm happy to know that they don't think that all food comes from package in a supermarket."
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