My journey began when I joined an amazing community garden called Gehringer Gardens, located in Concord, CA. There, I started small with a single plot full of weeds and quickly got to work. I had no experience with gardening but I had always enjoyed being outside and working with my hands. I pestered anyone who seemed experience with all kinds of questions. I peppered the plot with seedlings from the nursery and diligently cared for them through the summer. I had a wide assortment of fruits and vegetables from strawberries and blueberries to zucchini and squash and, of course, tomatoes. I believe it was early August when I finally harvested my first ever homegrown heirloom tomato. Right off the vine, I sunk my teeth in to a life changing experience.

The flavors, from what I always believed to be a bland watery fruit disguised as a vegetable, caused my mind to temporarily short circuit. My eyes popped out of my head. “This is a tomato?” I exclaimed, as the juices dripped from my chin and soaked in to my shirt. “This is amazing! You have to try this!” I felt like I had been lied to my whole life. I couldn’t believe this is what a tomato could taste like and if this is how a tomato could be, what about everything else? Right there, in that moment, unbeknownst to me at the time, I was hooked. Everything I did moving forward had to do with the garden. I wanted to know everything there was to know about gardening. I wanted to share this secret with everyone.