Meet The Staff
Carol Koury, began her career as an advocate for animal protection, and expanded to become a financial advisor, an activist for women’s health and for the environment. Inspired by her father and grandmother, who grew most of the food she ate during her childhood, Carol, in turn, grew food for herself and her family. In the process, she became especially committed to providing healthy alternatives to conventionally produced food by supporting local agriculture and education about where food comes from.
There's really not much I don't love growing. But, tomatoes! Oh, the tomatoes I grow. My yearly strategy is to plant my standard favorites that I know I love, but I also love experimenting with new varieties and plant at least a half dozen every year that I've never tried before. I get to try and find new favorites, and I know I will never run out of tomatoes to try, because there are an endless amount of varieties!
Marketing & Communications Manager
I like to grow okra, mainly because I'm a big fan of the underdog and okra needs a helping hand in this cruel world full of people who think it's too slimy. I enjoy the okra pods raw, cooked, pickled, feremented, dried - however they come. I eat the flower, make flour and oil from the seeds. I dry and powder the leaves. I make cordage from the bast fiber and paper from the stem. As one old saying goes, "I ate so much okra I slipped out of bed."
What I most love is the feel of the dirt on my hands, the smell of the earth, the calm that settles about my being, and the satisfaction I get from creating the food that will feed my family. Of course, I always garden barefoot. My 80+ bucket container garden this past summer, 30 of which held tomatoes, would name tomatoes as my favorite. Second would be the basil I kept in front of the maters that made for a quick and delicious snack on my walk to my front door.
I absolutely love growing flowers. I mean, vegetables are good and all, but growing flowers is what really feeds my soul. They're fun and colorful and so full of personality. It's hard to choose just one favorite flower, but I can narrow it down to a few: moonflower, love-in-a-mist, autumn beauty sunflower, and cosmos. I daydream about having a giant garden that I can fill with just different kinds of flowers, though currently I have to settle for a tiny 4' x 8' raised bed outside my apartment.
I love growing lavender! Mostly because of the beautiful dark purple flowers it produces, enjoying the smell and pollinators buzzing about, and the heartiness of the plant. The versatility of lavender amazes me from essential oil, teas, and great simple syrup. I hope to one day have fields of lavender growing in my backyard providing more habitat for pollinators!
Known as the wild melon man of Western North Carolina, Mark Traub and his gardening activities defy description. He's been spotted eating ghost peppers without breaking sweat and converses with bees while on garden forays about town. It's rumored he wasn't born, but created by the woods as a manifest representation of what it means to be good and decent and willing to work at 4am.
Eddy is a Master Gardener by training, but this title does him no justice. He serenades his garden with self-composed guitar solos on moonlit nights and even the coyotes cease to howl. The Lantana genus holds his heart and woos in return with firecracker quilt flowers, dancing in psychotropic delight to his Master gardener melodies.
Retail Store Manager
Flowers make me smile. Flowers increase my happiness. I couldn't choose one favorite but I can say that spring bulbs are at the top of the list. They are the first to come up in my garden, and I enjoy walking around each day to see who next has decided to peek their green beginnings from the earth. I love that they come up every year, naturalizing and looking as if they were always meant to be there, adorning the wintry landscape with beautiful color.
Technical Support and Webmaster
Wild foods are my first love - sidewalk purslane and the maligned dandelion, ditch lilies and bitter wild blackberries. I'm particularly motivated by the connection between food and culture. My favorite food-growing moment is standing barefoot in summer-warm soil the color of brownie batter, picking up potatoes from the tractor-turned ground.
Customer Service Guru
I look forward to planting tomatoes each year! I always have a fruitful harvest and enjoy sharing the love with friends. I also love the versatility of tomatoes. It's easy to grab a handful of cherry tomatoes for a sweet snack on a warm day, or make a delicious caprese salad to accompany dinner....and who doesn't love tomato and mayo sandwiches?!?!