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Urban Gardener James Stockton




"It's best to grow your own food; it tastes better and you know how it was grown."

James Stockton, my father, began his own garden in the late 90s when I was in high school.  He was surrounded by gardeners during his childhood and as an adult.  Eventually, he decided to start his own and plans to garden until he is no longer able.  This is his gardening story.





When I was a kid, everyone grew something.  My daddy had a garden, my uncles, and my neighbors.  Although I never met him, I was told my grandfather Henry Richardson had two strawberries patches, one in Indianapolis and one in Shelbyville, Indiana and he sold the fruit for profit.  Society has gotten away from gardening and we need to get back to it.

On the street where I grew up, we could get fruit from our neighbors who had fruit trees.  If you did not grow it, someone in the neighborhood did.  My uncle Moses had a huge garden on the south side of Indianapolis.  He would let people come and take what they needed.  We were a community and we looked out for each other. 


Each growing season comes with its own challenges whether it's pests or the weather.  I have my garden fenced now to keep pests out.  If they manage to get in, I trap them and release them at a park across town.  You can't control the weather.  It's can be too hot or you can have too much rain.  You just have to take and wait and see stance and respond accordingly.  Overall, it's best to grow your own food; it tastes better and you know how it was grown.



James Stockton with childhood friend and fellow urban gardener Kenneth 'Bear' Strader.


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