Ready to learn more about gardening and growing your own food? Say hello to Stephanie Elwood, Baton Roots’ newest curriculum developer. This professional horticulturist, landscaper, and instructor joined the Baton Roots team this summer and is eager to help create an engaging curriculum for people to learn the essentials of growing.
Learn more about Elwood, her thoughts on urban farming, and her plans for the organization below.
Q&A with Stepanie Elwood aka The Garden Lady
Tell me about what you do…
As The Garden Lady, I do residential and commercial landscaping, maintenance, and community garden work. I teach cannabis and horticultural classes like plant propagation, how to make cuttings and what to grow during certain seasons.
Tell me about your role at Baton Roots…
I’m doing curriculum development. Curriculum development for this particular project is creating three levels of the Baton Roots Hustle & Grow program. I get to take everything that I’ve learned in almost 12 years of growing food, working with youth, all the food justice knowledge and put it all on paper.
What are your plans for the future of Baton Roots?
I hope that we can work together as a team to really capture everything that Baton Roots is doing plus utilize all of the experience that I have and put it into helping the program have a very solid backbone and be able to replicate it in other cities where they want to focus on urban farming and food justice.
Why are community gardens and urban farms so important?
Keeping farms close to where you're at, keeping them smaller, really getting the most amount of production and yield out of a smaller space of land, that's the future of farming.
Why did you start growing?
Gardening saves my life. It saves my life physically by giving me fresh produce for myself and my family, it saves my life mentally by helping me with my mental health, anxiety, depression, anything like that. Being connected to nature always reminds me that everything will be okay and everything is always changing. It’s just magic.
What’s one piece of advice you would give to new growers or potential new growers?
It can be a scary thing to want to leap into. I can say with full confidence: Mother nature will take care of you. If you say, ‘this is how I want to make a living,’ literally off of the land, she will take care of you.