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STUDENT INTERVIEW

~ with Michelle Goodall ~

An interview with Michelle Goodall, one of our full time horticulture students this year.

Hi Michelle, thanks so much for giving us your time and input for this Q&A session.

So tell us about your experience at TOC so far

As for my experience in The Organic Centre, learning and exploring all about organic horticulture from such inspirational individuals, gardeners who possess a unique blend of patience, vision, creativity, wisdom and kindness. So far, it’s been a pleasure!

How did it go with the taxonomy test ?

The Latin plant names exam was a bit daunting, but studying taxonomy has made me realise that in the realms of horticulture, Latin, far from being a dead language, is not just alive but kicking! The Latin bi-nomial system of naming plants is a universal language, it translates across international borders, reducing confusion. I would love to do more travelling in the future, visiting foreign landscapes and gardens, giving me opportunities to put my new found knowledge to use.

Which crop did you pick for your growing project besides salad

I decided to grow Alliums as my project crop as I can’t imagine life without onions! The scallions continue to be an easy, saleable crop without any problems to date. The leeks have been trouble free so far and we harvested the first few last week. The onions were grown from sets and all appeared well until they were struck down with the dreaded White Rot. Out of interest I also grew courgettes and aubergines. Both have cropped well, with the occasional courgettes turning into monster marrows overnight!

Any insights into the value of horticulture as therapy ?

I really believe that growing and caring for plants is a great way to learn to look after and respect other living things. Gardening and being in green spaces has developed my love and appreciation for nature. I love growing and picking flowers from my garden to have indoors. Such flowers are a world away from the vast amounts of blooms, grown then dipped into preservatives and bundled into refrigerated containers before being shipped vast distances from far-away countries to appear in our supermarkets.

Have you got any future plans in horticulture yet ?

Not sure yet, but I dream about setting up a small organic cut flower nursery. There’s definitely a growing market for local, organically grown cut flowers. A network of passionate growers are already working throughout Ireland growing beautiful flowers, maybe one day soon I’ll join them!

Michelle thank you for your valuable insights, I’m sure our readers enjoyed it.

Jakob
The Organic Centre

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