Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
Nicole Vinci: My Plants, My TeachersRussell Libby: True CostsJean English: Growing Season

MOFGA members will identify with the love of plants and lessons learned from them that Nicole Vinci, a recent graduate of Unity College, expresses. Vinci was awarded the 2007 Campus Enrichment Award at Unity for her dedicated work in the greenhouse there. English photo.

My Plants, My Teachers

by Nicole Vinci

By having a green thumb my whole life, I’ve been able to create beauty through horticulture; and now, owning dozens of plants, I have discovered that they’re my teachers. If I had my own way, my whole apartment would be a forest of plants. If I had a desk job, I’d be that person dedicating my working hours to watering, feeding and talking to the plants that create a garden wall instead of having a cubical separator around my desk.

Plants have taught me patience, dedication and faith:

  • Patience comes while waiting for my plants to bloom.
  • Dedication is required because owning plants is much like having a pet that needs daily attention, and if I want to go on vacation, I have to think first about my plants: Who’s going to water and care for them? Dedication quickly turns into a daily routine and pays off in the long run.
  • As for having faith, a friend came to me and said, “I’m killing this plant. Please, can you save it?” After I had cared for it for a few weeks, the plant dropped all its leaves and looked dead. I didn’t give up; I watered it every day. For a month and a half, I watched, hoping to see it growing leaves. About the second month, sure enough, this little stump formed new growth almost overnight. Much like this plant and my experience with it, we all go through rough times, and we each need to hold faith in ourselves and in each other. Having faith through the rough times, in our own lives, enables us to keep going and to grow.

Through all these life experiences from my teachers – my plants – I have grown attached to them. Like the cat-loving neighbor who collects every stray she comes across, I feel a connection with plants, and I have to resist the urge to take them all home. My teachers have given me a new, inspiring sense of myself. I’ve found a dedication and love for caring for plants. Now, with my plants as my true teachers, I have to care for their survival.

Faith and dedication will bring a payoff, but it requires time, effort and patience in waiting for that picture-perfect bloom. That’s what plants have taught me about life.

About the author: Nicole Vinci is a 2007 graduate of Unity College in Unity, Maine. She received the 2007 Campus Enrichment Award at Unity for her dedication in working in the greenhouse there.