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How Horticulture Found Me

Melissa Kitchen

Melissa Kitchen

 Melissa J. Kitchen, graduate student in Public Garden Leadership, was recently featured in this first-person account in Grower Talks [2014-11-26]:           

Horticulture has always been an important part of my life, but it wasn’t until my mid-20s that I discovered it as a career path. I’m a horticulture transplant. Get it?

I was in dentistry by default, but I always found ways to have some horticulture in my life. I convinced my boss to participate in the American Cancer Society’s Daffodil Days. He made a donation and in return they supplied us with daffodils to hand out to our patients. On my lunch breaks, I would wander the parking lot looking for wildflowers to pick. I would display them on my desk for our patients to admire. After the workday, I took evening classes in floral design through the local community college.

When I was 25, I enrolled in undergraduate studies in Plant Science at Cornell University. I loved the diversity of classes—Plant & Human Well-being, Annual & Perennial Plants, Berry Crops, Plant Function and Growth, Principles of Plant Propagation, Taxonomy of Cultivated Plants, Plant Genetics, Soil Science, Weed Science, Magical Mushrooms & Mischievous Molds, Insect Biology. Who knew that you could go to school and actually learn about the things that you love? It certainly was news to me!

Read the whole article.

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