Member's Corner

James Stevens-Master Gardener

James Stevens-Master Gardener

“Some of my earliest and best memories as a child were gardening with my grandpa and my neighbor. I started entering watermelons that I planted in the state fair and winning when I was in grade school. I remember a grower offering me fifty dollars for one of my Black Diamond melons.
When I got married I took up gardening again and planted a garden for myself and my elderly neighbor. Five years ago, I took classes and received my Master Gardener license and started a community garden at McPherson College. Two years ago I was asked to head up the K-State Extention garden where we do research on tomatoes, peppers and sweet potatoes for K-State. In the fall we receive leftover seeds from Orscheln, which we use and give away at the garden seminars that are given in the spring.
Last year we recorded over two tons of produce, which was taken to the food bank and given to people in need. This year the garden was expanded and we have harvested produce such as spinach, kale cabbage, different kinds of squash, okra, tomatoes, potatoes etc.
Gardening is a lot of hard work but it is so rewarding. I do not use pesticides so it is very healthy for you. Needless to say, it has been fun to see people light up when you give them home grown vegetables. What really keeps me going is the thought that someone in need is provided with something to eat. Gardening has been my passion my entire life. Praise God for all the bountiful harvests that have taken place!'”