12 April 2013


In the 90's I spent three years running a rock climbing guide service. I got into it through my love for climbing and the desire to go into partnership with two great climbing friends. Once we got the company up and running, I spent most of my time in the office hustling jobs, or, lugging huge bags of rock gear around the mountains. Yes, I still did some climbing, but I soon realized the truth behind the adage "guiding is not climbing". Guiding means a lot of time handling necessary paperwork, communicating logistics, hauling gear, and setting up ropes for clients to climb. I wouldn't trade those years or the experience, but it was eye opening to see how a hobby changes once it's a career.

There are some days when my garden teacher job reminds me of those guide years. Not so much the office work, but the hauling! Since I operate our program on two sites (St. Anne's and the Grade School), I spend a lot of time carrying plants, soil, pots, tools, compost, and occasionally a beehive back and forth. When you toss in the fact that I often start seeds in my garage before they hit the greenhouse, that adds a third location. And, don't forget the horse manure for our compost comes from Marin.

I decided one particularly laden day to document my loads.

Funny enough, perhaps that self-consciousness I brought to the afternoon led me to knock the tray piled high with plants against the door at school. Down it all went! Luckily, that doesn't happen too often.