‘This is our garden, it’s not just a box’: How a family of gardeners are taking on the world
Portland, Oregon, is a small community of about 10,000 people.
Its a suburb of Portland.
Its an easy commute to work.
But for one family, the road to success began with a humble garden.
“We are very much a small family with very little money,” says mother Melissa Hulley.
“So, we were kind of looking for a way to help our children.
And we ended up making a garden.”
Hulleys husband, Peter, started a local garden store in 2011, and he says they are now selling vegetables and herbs in the community.
“It’s become a part of our family,” says Peter.
“And we don’t mind selling it to other people.
It’s not a big moneymaker, but it’s a way for us to give back.”
So what’s in a garden?
“I’m a gardener and I don’t want to just grow things, I want to grow things to give my kids something to do,” says Hul, who is raising her family in the town of 100,000.
“I grew strawberries for years.
And then I started growing carrots and peppers for my kids.
Hula’s husband Peter and his family grow about 70 per cent of their own produce in their local garden. “
If you don’t have money, it might be hard, but the rewards are really nice.”
Hula’s husband Peter and his family grow about 70 per cent of their own produce in their local garden.
But they’re growing vegetables at the same time as they’re selling them.
“Our goal is to make a living,” says Melissa.
“Not just to give them vegetables.
And our family is making a living.”
Melissa says the growing process takes about six months.
But the real challenge comes when it comes to harvesting.
“When we’re in the garden, we’re picking tomatoes and peppers and cucumbers,” says Nancy Hul-ley.
Nancy and her husband, Ron, have been growing vegetables since 1981.
They’re both certified organic and use locally sourced products, but they don’t sell to grocery stores.
“Most people don’t know what they’re buying, so we have to tell them what we’re getting,” says Ron.
“That’s how we make money.”
Growing vegetables for the community Growing vegetables at home is one of the ways that Melissa and Ron Hulle’s family has given back to their community.
For years, the Hulles have grown tomatoes, peppers, onions and herbs for the local community.
The family’s growing a garden that they sell at the local grocery store.
“As a young family, we had our parents who grew all kinds of things,” says Paul Hullet, who’s also a certified organic farmer.
“My dad started with tomatoes, and we’re still doing that today.”
But Paul and Melissa have now added potatoes, lettuce and cucumber to their family’s vegetables.
They’ve also grown lettuce, cucumber and tomatoes.
“The vegetables we grow today are all grown by our family members,” says Melanie.
“A lot of the produce we buy is grown by family members.”
Melissa and Paul say the family has been able to grow a diverse range of vegetables.
“At one point we were looking for something that would grow well in the cooler part of the country,” says Mel.
“In the fall we were growing strawberries and tomatoes for the family and for their garden.
And the tomatoes we grew for the garden were also grown by families.”
Growing the vegetables for sale The Hullets are growing vegetables in the kitchen, as well.
“People just like to have their food,” says Patty Hullett.
“They don’t really want to spend the money on something that doesn’t grow well.
And so, our goal is always to grow the things that they like.”
“We want to have things that people will eat,” says Tom Hullette.
“Some people like fresh food, some people like to eat things that are organic, and some people don�t want to eat anything that they can’t grow.”
Growing food in their kitchen is another way that the Huls have given back.
“All the produce that we buy from our local farmers is grown at home,” says Carol Hullem, who has been a certified food producer for 20 years.
“What we are trying to do is give back to the community, and to our community, by helping them to grow their food.”
Carol says that when she first started her food business, her family had to pay for their produce and then ship it to her.
“Then I learned that we could grow it ourselves,” says Carolina.
“Every year we go out to our farmers markets and we buy all the produce.”
Carol has now started selling produce directly to the people in her community.
Carol says she does a lot of community outreach and organizes events like the community garden parties. Carol also