By Lisa Hagerty
Many of you already know that Cheryl Gross has recently stepped down as editor of The Real Dirt and I have accepted the challenge. Cheryl elevated The Real Dirt to a whole new level when she took it from a mailer to a website with resources, for both Master Gardeners AND the community. You may be concerned that things will change, and some things probably will, which is part of the reason Cheryl is moving on. She felt like it was time for a new vision. I have big shoes to fill but I am a firm believer that most often if we want to grow, we need to change. Although there will be no big changes any time soon, I want to take this opportunity to introduce myself and share what I have to offer The Real Dirt.
Writing has always been like a love affair for me. Bringing words on a page to life is exciting and I have a passionate attachment to the art of writing. The more I write, the more I learn. It never seems to get dull. I have also been fortunate to even teach writing in my recent past, as I can’t seem to get enough. Even when I was teaching, I was learning and that brought me a great deal of joy. I consider myself a lifelong learner.
There is so much for me to learn in Michigan. After many years of visiting, my husband and I moved to Irons last fall. My husband is native to Michigan, but we met in Indianapolis, Indiana, where I was born and raised. We have three grown children, one beautiful granddaughter, and two lazy old dogs. I always thought one day I would eventually move south, where the sun is always warm and shining. Somehow that didn’t pan out and of all winters to move, I had to choose one of the worst in recent years! I think it was Mother Nature’s way of breaking me in, and that she did. I am here to stay and I couldn’t be more excited to be part of the MSU Extension MG program, in which I am currently enrolled.
When Michele Worden spoke at one of my recent classes, she told us Cheryl was leaving and The Real Dirt was in need of a new editor. I could not get home fast enough to find out more about the position and I couldn’t believe this opportunity was presenting itself. I told Cheryl that she may find someone with more gardening experience and she might even find someone with more editorial experience, but I also told her it might be difficult to find someone with the level of passion and excitement I have for both gardening and writing. Maybe she believed me because now it’s official…I actually get to be the editor of The Real Dirt!!! Can someone pinch me please? Just kidding.
As I understand it, Cheryl has done an outstanding job in her role as editor. She has so much knowledge and she is willing to share it, which is such an endearing quality. Although she will no longer ‘drive the bus,’ she will certainly still be along for the ride. From time to time, you will see an article by Cheryl and I must confess, without her, the May issue of The Real Dirt would not be as successful. As I jump into the ‘driver’s seat’, please join me in thanking Cheryl for her unwavering commitment and wishing her many future successes!
Speaking of success, I look forward to working with many of you in our magical world of gardening and in finding new successes every day!