Member Spotlight: Gardening Tradition

This article originally appeared in the July/August 2021 issue of Northern Gardener.

“I know that my mom had a hand in all of this,” says new MSHS member Amy Trossen. “Some of my earliest memories are in the garden.”

MSHS member Amy Trossen and grandchildrenAmy grew up on a 3-acre property in Brooklyn Park, along with her nine brothers and sisters. Her dad was a plumber and her mom stayed at home raising the large family. “We spent our summers running around the garden, weeding and picking this and eating that,” says Amy. Each sibling was given their own little garden to work with, which provided early lessons in how to grow. “I learned a lot from what didn’t work and was inspired by what did,” says Amy.

With a family and a career in information technology, Amy began hiring others to take care of her lawn and landscaping. “I just didn’t have the time with the all the travel,” she says. When she retired about five years ago, she was ready to return to gardening. “I had a brief plan to move to the Cayman Islands—a place I visit several times a year—but my children wanted me closer to home,” she says.

Amy was looking for a new home and found an ad for a small, 1918 farmhouse in Plymouth. The gardens were beautiful but had been neglected. “There were peonies, blueberry bushes, squash, asparagus and the remnants of a tree farm with weeds as tall corn stalks, and I just fell in love with it,” Amy says. The property has just the right amount of sun and trees for her to express her passion for gardening which she shares with her two children and her 4- and 2-year old grandsons, Levi and Jedidiah. “I’m teaching them how to pick blueberries and it’s such a joy!” she says.

older yellow home with garden in front

Amy’s home and front garden exude cottage charm.

Amy joined MSHS during April, when a buy-one-get-one membership deal was on offer. Through the gift option, her daughter became a member, too. “I’m helping my daughter put in her gardens at her home in Burnsville for her family and my grandchildren to enjoy, so it seemed like a good time to join,” says member Amy. Amy’s son, Sean, is also gardening and has a 20-acre hobby farm in Buffalo where he has chickens and goats. “That’s gardening on a whole other level,” says Amy.

As for Amy’s nine siblings, all but one have gardens of their own. “We have a tradition of doing walk-abouts in the garden,” she says, “It’s so much fun to see what’s coming up, what’s ready to be harvested. In the end, it’s all about sharing the joy my mom instilled in all of us when we were young.”

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