The Garden Girl
As we celebrate what remains of Summer, it’s fitting to explore an area that provides us with energy, beauty, nourishment and joy; the world of plants. In doing so, we visited the home of Dominique, the creator of the green-space blog, Plots and Pans. When you enter Dominique’s home, the words of prolific writer Zora Neale Hurston come to mind, “trees and plants always look like the people they live with, somehow.” With vibrant, strong foliage inside and the healthy blossoms outside, it’s clear Dominique is at home as a gardener and landscaper. Her home garden boasts beautiful tomatoes, kale, African basil, strawberries, zucchini, peppers and more; foods she loves to eat and share with friends and family given her love for cooking and entertaining. Accountant by day, her landscaping business is a labor of love that she plans to grow in the coming year. What inspirers her landscaping plans? Dominique looks at the space and what’s possible and confers with her client about what’s practical for their lifestyle and gets to work! Dominique, a Howard University graduate, is among a slew of African American women and men with gardening/landscaping businesses in the D.C. area aka the black and brown community of harvesters.
Dominique describes her lifestyle and business approach as one full of appreciation, respect and love. The level of reverence that she illustrates for her green beauties is connected to her identity and ultimately pays homage to her family roots. Being a native New Orleanian and having grandparents who were farmers in Louisiana, she believes that the green lifestyle has existed in her soul her entire life. She is at home with the soil and raising plant life is second nature to her which is why her blog and landscaping business is a no brainer and her clients couldn’t agree more. What’s good for the soul is good for our readers. So, we are excited to share some home gardening tips and entrepreneurial words of wisdom from our fabulous garden girl, Dominique.
· Be realistic. It’s ok to start with one plant at a time.
· Grow what you like. If you don’t like to eat a veggie, it doesn’t make sense to grow it.
· Good soil starts with asking for advice from others. Research is important. When you don’t know something, don’t be afraid to learn more. “Learning through other people has contributed to me being able to create a good soil palette.”
· Store the foods and herbs you grow to use them at a later date. Canning and freezing will prevent spoiling and waste.
Got basil? Dominique shared a tip for storing basil (her basil is beautiful by the way) to cook later.
Take an ice cube tray and place basil leaves and olive oil into each cube compartment. Place in the freezer. When you are ready to cook, it’s as easy as throwing a cube into a saucepan and cooking up a delectable meal with your choice of vegetables and/or meat.
And on the business side:
· Value the support of your friends. Community plays a big role in growth and sustainability of a business. “I am blessed to have people around who see things bigger for me than I imagine,” Dominique says, which has propelled her forward.
For more information about Dominique’s landscaping services, visit www.myplotsandpans.com. Also find Dominique on IG @plotsandpans and Plots & Pans on Facebook.