Harvesting Success: The Dual Life of a Commercial Projects Analyst and Master Gardener

June 27, 2024

Meet Jeannie Manis

Jeannie Manis plays a pivotal role in shining a light on Foremost Farms’ cheese! One of Jeannie’s job highlights includes overseeing our sample program, ensuring current and potential customers see and taste our cheese at its best. Jeannie is a licensed cheese grader for Cheddar, Muenster and Brick Cheese. She uses her meticulous eye and taste buds to select the perfect samples from our portfolio for tradeshows.

Beyond the Office: Jeannie Master gardener Extraordinaire

I now am an “honored” master gardener which means I’ve been a master gardener for over 10 years and have over 1,000 hours of volunteer hours.

A master gardener is someone who volunteers time and expertise to educate others about gardening, making a positive impact in their community.

What skills and talents of a master gardener do you use in your work?

Both time and resource management play critical roles in gardening and work. I meticulously plan for the optimal timing for planting, watering and fertilizing to ensure a successful harvest. While I don’t harvest at work, I ensure the timely completion of various steps to meet project deadlines. Flexibility is always crucial—whether adjusting on the fly during a gardening project or adapting to work challenges. Similarly, conducting research is vital. Whether solving garden issues or making informed decisions at Foremost Farms, thorough research ensures successful project outcomes.

I make work fun. It’s called work for a reason, but I still strive to make sure I enjoy what I’m doing.

Can we still create a garden space for the year or is it too late?

It’s not too late! While timing matters, there are plenty of opportunities to plant and grow throughout the growing season. Here are some tips:

    • Perennials: You can plant many perennials up until about 4-6 weeks before the last frost. These hardy plants will come back year after year.
    • Late summer vegetables: Even in July, you can sow various vegetables:
      • Mid-June: Start broccoli, brussels sprouts and cauliflower seedlings for planting in the third week of July.
      • First week of July: Lettuce, kale, cucumbers and spinach for a fall crop.
        Second week of July: Beets, Chinese cabbage, rutabagas and turnips.
      • Last week of July: Peas.
      • First week of August: Radishes, and another batch of lettuce, spinach and beets.
  • Maintaining momentum and coping with setbacks: lessons from the garden

    There is nothing like cutting a beautiful bouquet or eating tomatoes fresh off the vine. I get great pleasure from sharing our produce with family and friends and canning and freezing it for future use. But winter has its purpose; by the end of the season, I am tired, and I just want the snow to come and cover my garden so I can take a break. Use this as a sign that you should too.

    Every year, I try to grow something new, I’ve had lots of successes when I push the boundaries to see if something will truly grow in our zone, but I’ve had my fair share of failures too. Gardening, like life, has its ups and downs.

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