Throughout the season, we will be bringing you some “in their own words” posts from our vendors at the market. To kick off those posts, I’ve invited Grover Grafton to tell us a little about himself. Read on to learn about his prize pumpkin and be sure to stop by on Sunday to say hello!
Hello, my name is Grover Grafton and I’m, “The Plant kid”; or so my neighbors say. I’m 16 years old and love everything pertaining to plants; whether it be growing them, eating them, and even teaching about them. You might be asking yourself how does a 16 year old develop such a passion for the art of growing plants? It all started at the ripe age of 9 with my grandmother’s amazing porch garden.
This garden consisted of the most beautiful flowers with blooms the size of dinner plates attached to plants that towered over me like trees, all neatly arranged in rows of terracotta pots. At the time I lived in in Wyoming, an arid climate where nothing with the exception of sage brush grew and where I was proudly attending 4th grade. Although I enjoyed the dry hot climate of Wyoming it wasn’t exactly the most hospitable place to grow a garden, this made my periodic excursions to my grandmother’s house in Camas, WA, a childhood highlight. Upon my arrival in Camas, my grandmother and I would promptly embark on a plant shopping spree, much to my grandfather’s chagrin. We would load the back of her 2002 Chevrolet van with all manner of plants; from fruit trees to begonias and immediately return home to plant them. We would spend the next 2 ½ weeks filling every pot to the point of overflow occasionally taking breaks to eat or take a mid afternoon nap. After completing this monumental task my grandmother made the critical mistake of mentioning a surprise she had waiting for me; I was so excited! After a short drive to the local nursery she set my juvenile body and avid mind loose on the ill prepared staff of the nursery with the singular purpose of picking a plant of my own. After 2 tenuous hours and several long winded internal debates I waltzed out of the establishment with a Big Max pumpkin plant. Once at the house I dug a whole big enough for a fully mature tree; planting the weak looking infantile plant in the center; hoping but not expecting it to yielding a pumpkin.
After being pried from my grandmother’s arms and shipped back to WY; with the subsequent 3 months having passed I received an odd bulky and even better, large package in the mail addressed to me. My giddy self gaily skipped into the kitchen, retrieving a knife from its home and severing the boxes constraints. As the last strand of tape snapped a pumpkin rolled out, but this wasn’t just any pumpkin; it was my pumpkin. This pumpkin and the realization that size doesn’t matter, because with a little hard work and TLC a little weak plant could yield me a pumpkin. In the following years I grew my own pumpkins eventually branching out into new plants, supplemented with the infrequent visits to my grandmas. As time progressed my knowledge grew exponentially, expanding into new and exciting areas. In 6th grade I combined my hobby with my ever growing need for money, appearing at the local farmers market in Williston, ND, selling herb plants with as I called it, “my side hustle”.
After yet another 2 moves I’m here in the, “Wild and Wonderful”, WV and with me my passion followed. I now am the sole proprietor of Gmac’s Urban Farm, growing over 5,000 plant starts every year in my new greenhouse and with the goal of producing 1 metric ton of food in my ¼ acre garden.