Meet Princess Cole and her garden. Be sure to keep reading as she shares how gardening has affected her health and wellbeing.
FFFC: Please introduce yourself to our readers.
My name is Princess. I was born and raised in the Bronx, New York and moved to Atlanta in 2009 which is where I began my gardening journey.
Meet Princess Cole and keep reading as she shares how gardening has affected her health and wellbeing. #inthegarden #selfcare #wellnessTweet
FFFC: When did you start gardening?
I have always been health conscious thanks to my dad who had and still has healthy eating habits. However, in 2014, I reached a point when I realized that so much of the food in stores is unhealthy, no matter how healthy they may seem. That alone is what inspired me to start gardening.
FFFC: What inspired you to start gardening?
Growing up in the Bronx, a big melting pot of cultural backgrounds, I was raised on lots of caribbean, asian and hispanic food. That’s also thanks to my own multicultural background.
FFFC: What do you like to grow in your garden?
So I love to grow a variety of crops that most people probably don’t eat or don’t think to grow. Things like sesame seeds, camellia sinensis (tea plant), jicama and pigeon peas.
The list is endless. At least that’s what it seems like.
FFFC: What are you growing in your garden now?
I grow so many things. Right now and for the first time, I’m growing buckwheat. I love melons so I have at least seven varieties in my garden. I also have luffa, corn, hibiscus, ghost peppers, blue butterfly peas and plenty of herbs.
FFFC: Do you typically eat all that you grow or do you give or sell some of it?
What I grow is solely to feed my family, so I don’t sell or give any of it away, but I’d like to grow enough in the future to share.
FFFC: How has gardening helped you physically, mentally and spiritually?
Gardening has brought me closer to my spirituality and plays a major part in my mental and physical being. It’s a form of meditation. It’s a way for me to stay grounded and appreciate mother earth and life, and has opened my eyes to the things we take for granted.
FFFC: What do you like most about gardening? The least?
What I like most about gardening is the sense of peace and humbling that I feel when I look at what I’ve done with my own hands to nourish my family. The only thing I don’t care much for is spiders.
Everything about them creeps me out and there is always one lurking on a leaf or in a web that was made between my raised beds or on one of my arch trellises.
FFFC: What advice do you have for someone considering starting a garden?
If I was to give anyone advice about starting a garden, it would be to expect the unexpected, and do plenty of research.
FFFC: What general tips do you have for those who have started gardening and may want to give up?
The advice I’d give to those who have started and want to give up, is the same advice I’d give to someone before they start…do research. If someone wants to give up, it’s because something isn’t going right. If something isn’t going right it’s most likely because they don’t know what they’re doing, because they didn’t research.
FFFC: Do you host a blog about gardening? What’s the name and link?
On my blog, The Mom In Me (www.themominmeblog.com), which is about my life and everything I do as a mom, and features posts about everything from parenthood to gardening. I post tips and great info for those who need it.
FFFC: Do you have any gardening events or specials happening soon that you would like to share?
I opened a yoga studio a few years ago and I hosted an event in 2019 called Plant and Seed Swap + Yoga, where members of Black Girls with Gardens came together to laugh, do yoga and shared plants and knowledge. I don’t have any other events planned, but I’d like to eventually make that a yearly event.
FFFC: Which garden gurus do you like to follow on social media?
The black garden community has grown so much, and one of my favorite garden gurus on social media is my girl Siri of Creative Arts Farm. She and I have developed a friendship beyond gardening. She is the sister I’ve never met. My spiritual bestie. And I can’t leave out my good sis Jasmine, founder of Black Girls with Gardens. She has given us as black gardeners the opportunity to be seen and that alone makes her the guru of all garden gurus.