I suppose that, when my parents chose to name both of their sons after trees, one of us was destined to work—or live—with plants. My brother chose football.
I grew up in Redding, and had every natural wonder that I could ever desire right in front of my doorstep. As a Boy Scout, I spent nearly every weekend and all of my summers hiking, fishing and camping. The time that I was required to spend in school seemed like a distraction from all of the things that I really enjoyed. Then, in college, I discovered that I could have both! I attended Shasta College off-and-on for six years where I collected associate’s degrees in horticulture and agriculture.
It was at Shasta that I came realize that the landscape industry was moving rapidly in a new direction. Gone are the days of “set-it-and-forget-it” irrigation, lush tropical gardens and monthly fertilization. Landscaping is a science as much as it is an art form. Sustainability is the key, and anyone who wants to keep afloat in the industry needs to get on board.
I’ve been a green-collar worker my whole career. I started as a laborer in a landscape construction company where I learned the principles of irrigation and landscape design. Then, I moved on to working in a retail nursery, where I gained an intimate knowledge of plant material, their water requirements and proper growing conditions. Now, I have settled in the Sacramento region as an Account Manager for a thriving, established commercial landscape maintenance company. Here, I have the opportunity to test new products, work with industry leaders and support the sustainable movement in our industry. Last year, I completed the Regional Water Authority’s Green Gardener program and was excited to see so many other people that are interested in increasing their knowledge of sustainable landscape practices.
My soon-to be-wife, Sally, and I live on a small farm where we have 30 chickens and a large edible landscape. We have our own bees and will soon have a goat! We take pride that most of our food comes from the soil we live on, and we try to have a hand in making nearly everything that we use.
I am excited to reach out to other people in the Sacramento region that want to be water wise and more connected to their sustainable side.