• Have you ever actually tried growing food?

  • Have you ever tried gardening at high elevation like 4,000 feet?

  • Have you had the privilege of smelling AND eating a ripe tomato off the vine?

No, this is not a post about the tips and tricks of gardening, which soil to use, where to buy seeds or how much water is necessary to have a great tomato harvest.

This post is an admiration of people like my mom, my mother in law, as well as my husband, other garden lovers and farmers who spend time and money on this labor intensive AND not always fruitful activity.

Personally, never in my whole 37 year old life did I find myself excited to roll up my sleeves and get my hands dirty in the garden. I guess when you grow up in a city, then move to another huge city, gardening is sometimes accomplished on balconies or not at all. When my husband grew some strawberries, lettuce, hops and other green things on our balcony in Korea, I thought it was cute. When he helped his mom with tips and tricks in her Montana garden, again I thought: Fun! He gets to connect with his homesteading mom through growing something.

But then something changed!

Moving from South Korea to Montana, and seeing with my own eyes my mother in law’s strawberry patch kick out TONS of incredibly aromatic AND delicious strawberries for the four of us to enjoy, my gardening curiosity started to grow. I mean, how amazing that you get to wake up, walk into a garden, pick some amazingly nutritious and most of all organically grown food, you can eat it from the vine (cause I’m a savage like that) or put it on your breakfast.

Granted, picking strawberries, for a newbie like me, involved some back-breaking bending over labor. This 37 year old body IS NOT A WONDERLAND, especially early in the morning before it gets hot. Still, my mother in law and I spent a couple of mornings together in her garden, quietly harvesting this fruit of the gods.

Eventually we made a video together for our The Hohnstead Life Youtube Channel, which looks something like this

I’m not sure if mama Hohn realized how much I started to fall in love with the whole gardening idea, maybe she thought that I was being polite helping her OR that I was a hungry little morning monster who came to EAT and eat she did!

GARDENING TIP! "Try to keep your strawberry garden covered, otherwise it can get decimated by equally as hungry bees, wasps, neighbors or a wild creature like a yeti, chipmunk or a marmot."

The second time I found myself absolutely in awe with gardening this year was when raspberries were ripe. Sadly, raspberries did not get covered with a net this year and at many instances harvesting raspberries was probably like being in a war zone – anxiously dodging barely visible items very capable of making you go OUCH! YOU C@$^ S@#%#R!


Oh yea! The joy of no longer having to hide my potty mouth from my students. F!#% that!


Yay for forest therapy and having the freedom to cuss anytime a bee stings you.


The third time I found myself absolutely in awe with gardening this year was when tomatoes were ripening. OMG! Picking a juicy tomato off the vine and biting into that sucker, its a feeling unlike any other.


  • It makes you feel closer to Mother Earth.


  • It makes you feel like you never want to buy another tasteless, smell-less tomato from a grocery store.


  • It makes you feel like you’re being in the moment and there is NO OTHER PLACE I’d rather be…


It’s hard to put this feeling into words, instead, check out this video we made while harvesting with mama Hohn.

Question for you

Have you ever tried growing tomatoes? Were you successful?

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