AKA Mr. Moran, Randal John, Miracs or simply – dad.

My green thumb has been inherited through a long line of amazing gardeners. I am just barely starting to scratch the surface of my mom’s flower power, but I’ve been in deep with my dad’s veggie garden sense for longer then my subconscious knows. Most likely my conception is the root of my problem, this gardening obsession of mine.

RJ, as he’s known to most, is a “retired” teacher: one of the best. His forte is math; a subject I grew up hating, which inevitably led to a few tears at the kitchen table over algebraic equations. Overall I did well at. It’s also not a coincidence that my initials are 3 M’s. He is full of dad jokes, he is an athlete, he is highly involved in the community, he landscapes on Lake of the Woods with his other “retired” friends during the summer and he’s always up for a good time.

When it comes to gardening dad is a full experimenter.

Like father, like daughter.

Since being gifted a pocket calculator or I mean cell phone, RJ’s “we’ll see” experimental attitude has become even more evident and I love it every bit of it. (Small back-story; dad used to drill my brother, our friends and I with math problems because a calculator in our pocket was something we’d never have… so, this is a big HA! told you so moment that I’m taking full advantage of.) Really there is too much awesomeness to share and well… perhaps it’s best we keep some family secrets but allow me to enlighten you with a couple excerpts from text messages complete with photos.



“Trying something new grinding egg shells and coffee grounds putting them in the tomato holes.”

“Also tried some with an egg in the hole. Keeping track of which ones got what.”

“Planted some corn and am experimenting with Epson salts on every second row – again, we’ll see…”

“And finally my parsnips from last year that I leave in all winter – so yummy!!!”


Of course, there are the show-off photos. Dad and I have been firing pictures back and forth of what we’re growing and what’s ready to eat regularly. Rj’s last photo was of what he collected for a TRUE garden salad for dinner, claiming that icicle radishes might be his favourite at the moment but he’d like to try growing the spicy purple daikon variety I‘ve got in my plot. I’ve even been able to share video walkthroughs of my garden. Basically, we each get to live what’s in our respective gardens in a matter of seconds even though we are 2,427km away from each other: technology is very cool.



RJ’s TRUE garden salad


Perhaps the best part of RJ’s massive garden is that it’s always open for foraging to neighbors and friends. Growing more then he and mom can eat really goes to show that when you’re passionate about something and you can share it with others you get the best of both worlds.

I already know that I’ll have a lot of vegetables to share this summer as I have planted more than two of us can eat, but I’m happy to carry on this family tradition out west.

After all, I’ve been taught by the best.