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All articles here are written by Melinda Briana Epler (that's me!) unless otherwise noted. I'm a documentary filmmaker, writer, and brand experience designer - I've dedicated my life to living a sustainable lifestyle and helping others do the same. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or thoughts for articles. Welcome!

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THE GROWING CHALLENGE: Evangelist Edition!

The Growing Challenge: Evangelist Edition

A New Challenge!

I know some of you have been waiting for a new challenge.  You’ve been reading seed catalogs, or thinking about maybe growing a nice garden this year, reading books maybe, and thinking about taking a gardening class… Or maybe you haven’t really been thinking much at all about it.  Maybe this idea is new to you, or maybe it’s old hat – you’ve been growing for years.

Whatever your history, I challenge you to join me in doing something new.

The Rules

In a nutshell:  Grow 3 crops from seed, and plant the seeds in 3 new people.

1.  Grow 3 Crops from Seed this Year. I leave the details up to you, but I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone – even seasoned gardeners.  If you are still learning, feel free to grow the easy stuff, or seeds you might have grown before.  If this is old hat for you, you might try to grow something new – challenge yourself!

2.  Plant the Seeds in 3 New People.
In other words, inspire 3 new people to grow crops from seed this year.  I know for some of you this means really stepping out of your comfort zone.  But you can do it.  We’ll all support each other – this is how we change the world, one bit at a time!  It’s easy.  Let your enthusiasm shine through what you do.  Be an inspiration and resource to others!

This could be your neighbors, your friends or family, people in your community garden, people in your book group or parents at school…  You can wait until someone asks you, or you can strike up a conversation with them.  And you don’t have to do it in person!  You can write an article in your local newspaper or community newsletter (I’m writing an article in my local garden newsletter), if you have a blog you can write a blog post about how easy and fun and cheap seed starting is, you can volunteer at a local senior center garden, you can inspire your kids to grow with you….

If you’re more experienced, think about teaching a class at your community center, or a community college – you might make a bit of money at the same time!  Or you could teach gardening at your kid’s school (maybe help them grow a garden?), teach someone in your community garden, or participate in an online forum – so many easy ways to spread the word.

3.  Tell the Stories About Your Seed Planting Here. We all want to hear your stories!  So in the periodic updates here, come and tell us how you’re doing, ask questions, talk about your experiences teaching others, your frustrations or thoughts or ideas or whatever.  We want to hear them, and take advantage of this awesome community!

Need More? Go Extreme!

The Growing Challenge:  Extreme Evangelist Edition

For the Optional Advanced or Extreme Edition, add this step as well:

4.  Make it Seed to Seed! Grow 3 crops from seed, and save the seed from each of those 3 crops to grow them next year.  That means you do have to buy open pollinated seeds (not hybrids), and learn a bit about the crops so that you save the seed well enough that they’ll produce a good quality crop next year.  I’ll be continuing to write about saving seeds in the coming months to help out.

Can you swing it? I’m thinking about ways to reward those who participate in the bonus edition.  Maybe a special prize*…

Experienced enough that you still need to up the stakes for yourself? GO FOR IT.  Leave your new stakes clearly in the comments below, and we’ll all help you stick to it.

*if you have any thoughts, I’m all ears!

Still working on your green thumb?

Still “green” to gardening?  Not yet have a green thumb and want to start slower?  Try the original growing challenge here.

Join Us!

All you need to do to sign up is leave a comment below with your name, where you’re gardening, and what hardiness zone you’re in.

Find your hardiness zone:  U.S., Australia, CanadaEurope, South America, China. For other regions, I don’t have links so give it your best guess!


If you have a blog – or a refrigerator, or computer desktop, or place to post at your office – please spread the word!

The Growing Challenge: Evangelist Edition The Growing Challenge: Extreme Evangelist Edition

To add a button to your blog, right-click on the image and save it to your desktop. Then upload it to your blog as you would any other image, with a link to:

Oh, and once you’ve uploaded the image, check to make sure the link works and the image loads correctly. Feel free to email me if you have any problems and I’ll see if I can help.

To print or download the doodad, click on the image, which will open to a bigger version.  Then download by right-clicking on the image to save it to your desk top, or choose print from your file menu.


Check out the loads of content here at Organic Gardening 101. I’ll be adding to that growing list as we move into Spring!

Who’s In?

I’ll be listing names right here in this post as people join, so come on and join in the fun!! All you need to do to sign up is leave a comment below with your name, where you’re gardening, and what hardiness zone you’re in!

  1. Deb G, Bee Creative, Pacific NW, Zone 7/8 – Extreme
  2. Abby, Woodchuck Acres, Indiana, Zone 5a – Extreme
  3. Jackie, Zone 9a/b
  4. Catherine, Love Living Simply, Texas, Zone 8 – Extreme
  5. Deb C-G, Simple Not Easy, Western Canada, Zone 5a
  6. Rob, Rob’s World, Burien, WA, Zone 8 - Extreme
  7. Judy, My Freezer is Full, Iowa, Zone 5a - Extreme
  8. Tree Huggin Momma, Frugal is a Green Journey, Western NY, Zone 5
  9. Lorna, Intrepid Experiment, United Arab Emirates, Zone 11 - Extreme
  10. Sheryl Gallant, Providence Acres Farm, Barrie, Ontario, Canada, Zone 5a - Extreme
  11. Jen R, Emerald Sunshine, Iowa, Zone 5A
  12. Spanishloquat, Bermuda, Zone 10/11
  13. Ken Toney, Our Mountain Farm, West Virginia, Zone 5 - Extreme
  14. Lise, In The Purple House, Western Massachusetts, Zone 5
  15. Belinda, Belinda’s Place, Mt. Dandenong Victoria, Zone 2/3 (Aust) - Extreme
  16. Simple in France, The Simple Life In France, France, Zone 6/7
  17. Withajoyfulheart, Simply Seeking Jesus, Quebec, Canada, Zone 4
  18. Really Rose, Zone 8 - Extreme
  19. YOU!