Hello From Your New The Real Dirt Editor

by Molly Bacon, EMG Trainee

Molly Bacon

For those of you that read the “call for contributors” email, you will know that I am a recent Master Gardener trainee having finished my training in Nate’s first virtual Master Gardener class in November.

Since I have other volunteer newsletter experience, your need for an editor and my need for volunteer hours was a perfect fit.  So, here I am. Though not living where most of you do in Northwest Michigan, I have some indirect long-standing roots in your area. Since my grandparents bought a home in Empire over 100 years ago there has been at least one and usually more of the Bacon family in residence.  My home is on a small, rural, 24-acre lake in the northwest corner of Gladwin County, south of Houghton Lake. We have been here full-time for over three years but purchased it 11 years ago for retirement. I grew up in Michigan, but my family moved to Southern California when I was 16. I loved gardening in California since it is almost non-stop. The time there contributed to my current love of growing citrus and a prior long stint of orchid growing. After 20 years in California, my job transferred me to Georgia. They have a long growing season, but that red Georgia clay is terrible for most in-ground gardening except for Azaleas, Camellias, and Holly, which grew beautifully. I ended up growing my veggies in large nursery pots. I did continue orchid and citrus growing in a 10’ x 12’ heated greenhouse. After 25 years of living in the South, I knew I had to retire “back home” in Michigan and am so glad I did though I am having to re-learn how to garden in the North.

I am married to Chris Brown, who is a lot of help with the “heavy” gardening chores I prefer not to do myself. This summer he did some great landscaping on his own and keeps the compost barrel turned. He also helped me with the pots of veggies. The rain that caused the dam failures a bit further east of us dumped 7” of rain in our small lake in 24 hours and flooded the lot where I’ve had my raised beds for the past three years. Fortunately, I brought those nursery pots from my Georgia gardening and had not transplanted any seedlings yet so I made a quick change in how I would be gardening for 2020. Fortunately, it worked out well.

I have a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Science/Business Administration and spent most of my working career in IT, with the last 20-some years in IT Business Process Systems Analysis. Even though I am retired, I still spend a lot of time on computers.

Besides gardening, my other interests include our vintage motorhome and some other vintage cars, plus cooking and baking (my first 4-H blue ribbon), weather (National Weather Service Severe Weather Spotter and CoCoRHS volunteer measuring and mapping precipitation; rain, hail, and snow) finally rounding off with counting birds for Cornell University’s Winter Feeder Watch. Gee, what a crazy wild spectrum of interests. I also volunteer on the board of directors for the vintage motorhome and vehicle clubs, publish both organization’s newsletter and recently created and continue to maintain the website for the motorhome club.

Even with all this IT background, I would still love to have another “techie” comrade to work in collaboration with for the newsletter and website. Remember, “two heads are always better than one.” Whitney has done a great job, but it is time for her to focus on some other things in her life. If you have some computer knowledge and are interested, please let me know.

Please also consider joining the writing group.  The Real Dirt is a bi-monthly publication and you do not need to write for every issue.  

Contact me anytime at realdirt.newsletter@gmail.com


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