April 2019 - Perry Halse, Facilities/Grounds, Gardener
We caught up with Perry to learn about how gardening has impacted his health, and those around him. He also shared a few tips for the upcoming gardening season! Here is what he had to share.
What interests you the most about growing things?
I'll answer this question with a quote I have at my desk that I truly believe. " To own a bit of ground, to scratch it with a hoe, to plant seeds,and watch the renewal of life-- this is the commonest delight of the race, the most satisfactory thing a man can do." -- Charles Dudley Warner
Have you noticed any positive impacts on your health and well-being from all the gardening you do at work and home?
I suffer from a condition called fybromyalgia and chronic fatigue, which makes almost all movement slightly painful, especially my legs and lower back. I'm sure my interest in gardening and the amount of work I have here and at home motivates me to get some exercise I might not otherwise be inclined to do.
On a related note, how about the impacts on the community for the people who benefit from the beautiful work you do with plants on campus and flower arrangements for the farmer's market?
There is a sense of peace and tranquility that one feels in a garden and green space ,as well as stress reduction, something I feel is needed in a busy work environment. Also, the two edible landscapes on campus are for all to use, to sample or take home the ingredients for a nice salad.
Do you have any tips for folks thinking about starting a garden?
Mulching with leaves or straw between rows can greatly reduce the amount of weeding that needs to be done. Also, heirloom tomatoes are the best tasting. I'll be selling a variety of heirloom tomato plants at the Farmers Market on Saturdays in May if anybody is interested.