Carla Pattin: Healing Through Horticulture
My name is Carla Janell Pattin and I am a Master Gardener and founder of The Harvest Doctor, LLC.
The Harvest Doctor, LLC was formed on January 1, 2020. It was merely by chance and fate that my business launched at the entry point of COVID-19 in Ohio. I publicly launched the first weekend of spring, when there were still a lot of unknowns about the virus. I was told launching my business was a bad idea. But, I stayed true to my commitment and I am so happy I stayed true to my word for the purpose of serving others.
I started The Harvest Doctor, LLC to demonstrate a commitment to building gardening structures for people who love gardening but do not know how to start or for those who cannot garden. I eliminate barriers to gardening through education and building raised beds, especially for people who have chronic pain or people in wheelchairs.
I have grown gardens since 2016, but I began writing about gardening a year earlier. A year before I started gardening, I published an academic article that used gardening metaphors to describe how women of color demonstrate resilience in higher education. Therefore, The Harvest Doctor, LLC has been in the making for over five years.
Informed by overcoming my own personal challenges, my drive to educate and build gardens for others is rooted in the idea of Earth-care as self-care. On June 5, I am launching a new course titled, The Kitchen Garden: Grow Yourself and Your Kitchen Garden in 30 Days. This course links gardening as a tool for self-care. In this course, I teach the basics of gardening, while including methods on how to overcome challenges. My mentor, Sonia Flunder-McNair, worked with me to create a course, The Kitchen Garden 101-Thriving in COVID-19.
Describe your journey of discovering your favorite juice blend.
After I gave birth to my daughter in 2018, I set aside some of my favorite crops just for me. I grew kale, strawberries, English lavender, cucumbers, and spicy globe basil just for me. Little did I know I had a juice garden and it completely changed the game for me. The garden to blender experience is so amazing. I didn’t need storage containers and the prep-time was literally cut down to zero. My favorite blend from my juice garden is: Kale, Strawberry, lemon, lavender, and distilled water.
Who is a woman in urban agriculture that inspires you?
My mother is my inspiration. She is not an urban farmer, but she was my first teacher of the Earth. My mother was a master landscaper. As a kid, I remember peeking out of the window, watching her mow the lawn. Her lines in the grass were perfectly straight and her lawn looked like a golf course. I admire Sonia McNair Flunder. She was the first person that affirmed me and believed in my work.
What advice would you give a woman who's interested in gardening?
First, gardening is a billion-dollar business and the emphasis is mostly on buying products. Shopping at the local nursery can feel overwhelming because of the amazing products and brands. I help people to move away from products and to think about Mother Nature instead of products. With a little coaching, you'll discover that you have all the tools you need to be a successful gardener.
Second, it is important to focus on healthy soil. If the soil is in close alignment with the plant’s origins, a harvest will come. Third, plant herbs because they are so easy to grow and they are very forgiving plants. Lastly, I would master four of your priority crops—crops that you and your family eat on a regular basis. My family loves kale, collards, corn, and strawberries.
Any number over four may cause frustration as a new gardener.
We're looking forward to putting some of The Harvest Doctor's recommendations into practice, we hope you will too!!
For more information about The Harvest Doctor, LLC, visit theharvestdoctor.com.