Friday, October 9, 2020

Meet Our Community: Julie Thompson-Adolf, food-growing evangelist and nature nut

 


Let's get to know each other!


Since we're not able to meet up in person this year, let's meet online. Every week we're introducing a member* of our Fling community here and on Instagram, in their own words. We're excited to see what everyone's talking about and sharing with their followers!

(*Any garden blogger, vlogger, podcaster, or Instagrammer who follows our Instagram or is a member of our Facebook group. If you'd like to be considered or recommend someone for a Meet Our Community profile, email us.)


Julie Thompson-Adolf



Garden Delights follows my adventures as an obsessive organic gardener, local food lover, nature nut, eco-adventurer, and writer as I grow food and explore the world with my family. I started my blog during the last recession. Many of my friends were worried about their ability to feed their families, and I wanted to help alleviate those fears. Anyone can grow a garden to sustain their family or offset a reduced grocery budget. Even without access to a backyard, it’s easy to grow food in a container on a balcony, porch, or even a stairwell. These days I share more on my social accounts like my Instagram page than on my blog, but I still focus on growing organically, both food and ornamentals, as well as wildlife and nature.

I started a boutique heirloom-plant business back then too, growing organic vegetables, herbs, and flowers and selling online and at our local farmers’ market, where I used my booth to educate customers about growing food. I always had a free kids’ activity to help them learn about growing plants, whether it was planting “magic beans” they could take home or sowing sunflower seeds. It was such a pleasure to talk to both parents and kids and get them excited to garden together. While I don’t sell plants anymore, I still love helping people learn how to grow food, which is especially relevant during the pandemic. Everyone wants to garden now because we’re all stuck at home and because of uncertain economic times. And it can be frustrating when you first start gardening. Whether you’re growing your first tomato plant from seed or want to create a tropical retreat by the pool, I’m excited to help.

I’m a tad obsessed with bulbs. Every fall, I plant thousands of tulips, daffodils, and minor bulbs. Knowing those babies will begin popping up in January helps get me through gray winter days. And I have about 30 orchids that I’ve kept alive for a few years, and that bloom each year! I’m very proud of those because I’m terrible with houseplants.

I dream of owning a flower farm. Seriously. Sadly, we live in the middle of a forest with little sun. Instead, I focus on edible gardening, trying to grow every weird, funky, heirloom veggie possible. One year, I grew 168 varieties of heirloom tomatoes, just because I wanted to try them all. That was a delicious summer! I also grow from seed and save seed, and I even wrote a book about it, Starting & Saving Seeds: Grow the Perfect Vegetables, Fruits, and Flowers for Your Garden.

I make my living as a garden writer, working with many fabulous clients and brands. From writing articles and product copy to managing their social media accounts and designing marketing campaigns, I adore my job and clients. Plus, I’m privy to the latest plant introductions, which is always fun! Recently I worked with Bonnie Plants on an Instagram campaign, promoting their partnership with Ample Harvest and encouraging gardeners to donate their excess harvests to food pantries. Gardeners can find a food pantry in their area by visiting AmpleHarvest.org. It’s a terrific way to help people in need of fresh produce.

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Thanks for sharing your work and your gardening passions with us, Julie! You can follow Julie on her Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and her blog Garden Delights.


Photographs courtesy of Julie Thompson-Adolf.

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