About The Collected Seed / Vegetables, native plants + composting... in suburbia. Central OK.
What's in a name
The name “The Collected Seed” comes from the seeds of knowledge that gardeners are always happy to share with one another. This blog is a way to share that knowledge and pay-it-forward to those who have made me the gardener that I am. It is also a nod to the practice of collecting wild seeds for native plantings and saving seeds from heirloom/open-pollinated plants.
About the author
I, the author, am a born and raised Oklahoman who grew up in a rural part of the state, where I had dreams of becoming a famous newspaper author someday... well once I realized I couldn't be a dolphin and that meteorology required math skills. Entering college when the future of the newspaper industry was very uncertain, I obtained a mass communications degree, then pursued a career in broadcasting before landing in the Public Relations and Marketing field.
I still dream of becoming a famous author someday even though I write all day long thanks to my PR career. However, as a result of only exercising my craft in the corporate realm, my creative spark was dying so I decided to stop waiting for a book deal to magically appear and started this blog. It’s been a wonderful outlet and allows me the opportunity to write about my favorite thing, next to my family. Authoring “The Collected Seed” has revitalized my soul and I am better at my “grown-up job” as a result.
Speaking of "grown-up jobs," I still work 8-5 (often more), Monday through Friday as a senior-level professional for a company based in Oklahoma City. How to garden around this schedule is one of many challenges, but one I'm grateful to have.
About my garden and gardening style
I'm blessed to garden in suburbia. It's taken several years to say such a thing because garden envy is real, but I have learned to embrace my challenges. I have approximately 3,000 square feet to combine vegetable gardening, outdoor living, and ornamental gardens - which in my case are typically native plantings. The limited space helps me to reign it in because like everyone who catches the gardening bug... I want to grow all the things.
Space, budget and my heavy clay soil are always on my mind whether I'm in the garden or daydreaming about it. All three are great reasons to compost in small, closed compost bins or tumblers, something I converted to - after years of open composting - when I drew mice into my yard.
Whether vegetables or native plants, I typically start my own seeds or swap plants with fellow gardeners. I gravitate toward open-pollinated or heirloom varieties in my vegetable garden but do make room for certain hybrids. My native plant philosophy is similar, leaning toward the naturally-occurring plant types but I make room for certain cultivars.
Why I became the Oklahoma Coordinator for International Compost Awareness Week (ICAW)
As the crow flies, I live less than two miles from where Acme digs up our local clay to make into bricks. I'm not sure soil gets more clay than that, but if so, I don't envy the gardener battling it and certainly don't want to find out what that's like.
I've dealt with my soil challenges through composting and raised bed gardening. I've benefitted tremendously from the practice and hope to encourage others to make more compost.
In addition, the more I've learned about the beneficial effects of composting on our environment the more I wanted to tell people about it. I can recall being aware of my environmental footprint even as a child. Those lectures to turn off the water while brushing my teeth and not to waste must have had a real impact! Now, I get to do my part on a bigger scale.
ICAW hit my radar in 2019 through social media and I immediately contacted the national organization wanting to get involved. They were excited to bring me on board as a volunteer and I've enjoyed getting to know all the other compost advocates in our state. Wish me luck and start composting.
Thanks for reading.