Green Thumbs

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Gardening and raising a family both require nurturing

When I was growing up on a dead-end street in the ‘70s, our punishment for fighting with our siblings was working in the garden. We would have to sit on a wooden stool out in the heat and pull thistles from the rows of peas and beans. There was no shade, no iPods and no fun.

The only enjoyment I got from gardening was eating a few fresh peas and smelling the beans as I snapped them for my mom.

Now that I have a few decades of life’s experience, my view of gardening has changed.

With a few luxuries — like an iPod and a shade umbrella — I’ve learned that gardening can be an enjoyable family activity.

We’ve managed to accidentally grow a few vegetables at the Bennett household, but now we are focused on other types of vegetation. My three oldest children picked out their own cactuses in the fall. All winter, we’ve (over)watered them and watched them grow. (Miracles never cease.) One has tripled in size. The other two have grown slowly. Each morning the kids look at the plants and comment on their size and whether the plants look thirsty.

Watching plants evolve is a great way to grow a family. Plants (and children) require water, attention, sunlight and consistent care. Watching seeds become full-grown plants provides an old-fashioned “rush.”

Progress can be measured in more ways than bushels and leaf size. And sometimes it takes someone outside the “greenhouse” to notice growth or community building.

In this issue, you’ll meet five who built homebuilding in Utah Valley from a dormant industry to among the most fast-paced in the county. You’ll also get to know the area’s most well-known name in custom homes — Paul Magleby (cover story).

You’ll find gardening tips from professional green thumbs, and you’ll meet a handful of Realtors who can help you find a home and a garden plot to call your own.

Your family will appreciate the opportunity to garden — although the kids might not admit it for decades. Just remember to throw in some shade and some tunes to liven up the family project.

 

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