Suburban Haven in Henry County, Georgia
Meet Tish, the woman behind @thegreencobb.
Both of Tish's grandmothers tended kitchen gardens when she was little, but it wasn't until Tish had children of her own that she decided to start her first garden. Growing healthy food for her family was her initial motivator, but she soon realized how much calm, joy and well-being the garden provided as well.
"I started my garden to provide healthy and affordable options for my kids. At the time I was a single Mom of 4 and finding healthy options to feed all of us with only my income was not an easy task."
At first, Tish was a little worried the investment to set up her garden might not be worth the pay off. She didn't want to take money from her household if the garden wasn't going to offset their food costs but she decided to push through a fear of failure and get her hands dirty. Consulting both the internet and friends with green thumbs, she started small and has expanded every year. Now her garden provides more fresh produce than she can eat so she shares her bounty with friends, family and her community. An excess of garden goodness has also inspired Tish to preserve her harvests for the colder months by canning and freezing. She freezes sauces, greens and tomatoes and makes pepper jellies, hot sauces, pickled veggies and more.
Tish started @thegreencobb as a way to connect with other gardeners. She share gardening tips, recipes and encourages those new to backyard gardening to get started. She loves the community aspect that social media provides for growers and is quick to answer questions that come her way. Growing food has been such a positive experience that she wants to inspire and encourage others to follow in her footsteps.
"My garden gives me peace, calmness and makes me happy. I hope my adults (children, bonus children, nieces and nephews) will start and continue this. I want to keep growing, learning new things and helping anyone along the way."
Tish's advice for new gardeners just starting out:
"There is so much information out there that can be overwhelming for some beginners. My advice would be simply "you can do anything you put your mind to, so try. And if you fail, try it again!" Learning can be fun and Google (if you're not comfortable to asking someone) can become your friend until you're ready to journey into the Garden World, where you will find people who are more than willing to help, offer advice and answer any questions you may have."
Tish also recommends, for those working with limited space, to begin with zucchini, peppers and tomatoes in a few pots (these plants grow really well in containers) and add more varieties as you go.
Now with almost a decade of gardening wisdom under her belt, Tish has identified the easiest crops to grow in zone 8a and what she struggles with the most:
"The easiest crops for me (during warm months) are cucumbers, tomatoes, squash, melons, and peppers. The most challenging are greens (because of pest; haven't mastered getting rid of those little monsters)."
After many years on her own, Tish met a partner. She married her husband on New Years Eve in 2017. With her kids grown, she was excited to start this next chapter. Six months after her wedding, her back failed her.
"I have had back issues for over 10 years but I had my kids to care for and no time off to take care of me. I got to the point of not being able to walk or care for myself. This led to 2 back surgeries and nerve damage in my legs. I'm ok now, I get around (with a cane and a back brace)."
This physical impairment has not stopped Tish from continuing to grow food for her family and her community.
"I have tons of help from my husband and kids (now of college-adult age). Being strong minded and willed, I still have my garden (with their added labor, of course)."
Thank you Tish for sharing your story with us!
You can follow Tish on Instagram @thegreencobb