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  • Erika Gilsdorf

Meet Jill

Lecompton, Kansas

What Fuels Jill? Connection.

"I love to think about how I am a part of the ecosystem. I love to observe and consider how soil health contributes to the health of birds and vice versa. How one year we had a lot of voles which meant the next year we had a lot of snakes. Each season is a wonder."

Gardening connects Jill to the natural world.

"I think it fuels me because I pay attention and allow it to, really. No more numbing. No more autopilot."

Jill has a master's in Social Work from the University of Kansas. When she's not working in her garden, she is a therapist at a women's residential substance use disorder treatment facility.

"I love knowing that my hands have been a part of everything that grows here."

Jill and her partner Ehren (builder of my tiny house) have been gardening at their home in Lecompton where they are a part of each step in the process--from growing to enjoying.

"I love to eat what grows around me."

Their garden includes both fruits and vegetables. There is a lot of variety in what they grow, from strawberries and melons to artichokes and squash. They also grows greens, herbs, and flowers. This year, Jill had a good harvest.

A mutually beneficial relationship with more than just nature.

Jill and Ehren get free wood chip mulch from Lecompton. The city was mulching trees down the road from their house. They asked if they could have them to use in their garden. This led to a win-win arrangement-- Lecompton gets a place to dump shredded trees and Jill gets free wood chips to use for her garden.

Thanks, Jill, for sharing a jar of your pepper jelly and driving change in your backyard.

For more great stories about people driving change, check out other blog posts or visit What Fuels You USA on Instagram or Facebook.

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