Lynn Gillespie Bio
November 12, 2000

I am here to tell you a little bit about myself. I was born and raised in Colorado. I was immersed in an organic garden before I was even walking. My parents raised our vegetables and prize winning dahlias in our backyard. My sister use to eat the dahlia buds (this did not go over well with my folks, since they were trying to grow prize winning flowers). I can remember as a kid we would have to go out at night to pick up night crawlers in the streets after a rain to get worms for the garden.

My first “job” was in my parents greenhouse. They had 10 commercial greenhouses and grew house plants and bedding plants. Even before my parents would let us work we would play in the vermiculite and peat moss bins. I think I learned growing by osmoses, because I sure didn’t pay any attention.

Before graduating school, I fell in love with a farmer on the Western slope of Colorado and moved right after graduation. A few years after we married, we wanted to have kids. I knew I wanted a job at home where I could raise my family, not a day care worker. This is what started our greenhouse career.

We built two nice greenhouses and started growing hydroponic tomatoes, lettuce and cucumbers in the fall and winter and bedding plants in the spring and summer. This was great until I gave birth to twins. The work load was too great. It was either keep the twins or the hydroponics. We already had one child, a girl, who was almost three when the twins were born. Needless to say the hydroponics were out, we kept growing the bedding plants.

In 1995 we took our greenhouse operation onto the Internet and sold perennials, trees and seeds online. In between greenhouse projects, we built a new house on the property. Our old farm house was falling apart, catching on fire and leaked in 17 places, it was time to rebuild not fix it up.

All this busy-ness, led to very little time for gardening. I was bound and determined to grow my families vegetables. I have studied the books on pesticides and herbicides and wanted none of this on my kid’s food. I tried row gardening, what a painful way to garden, this is what my parents did it was my only role model. I can remember being 8 months pregnant with my first child and I was trying to plant bean seeds. I got down on my hands and knees and crawled down the row. My only thought was, how am I going to get up when I get to the end of the row if I make it? The garden was a total failure that year. The next few gardens weren’t much better. I had a weed patch with a garden in it in instead of a garden with weeds. At this point I was ready to give up gardening, I was just too busy. I knew in my heart that I needed to grow food for my family (I even made all my own baby food), my kids needed good food to grow up strong and healthy. I searched for a better way to garden.

This is when the first raised bed gardens started. I started out with a few 4 foot x 4 foot wooden beds, these beds did great. I grew great food with little work (I had very little time to devote to gardening). Next thing I knew we were building more and more beds. We did revert back one year to row gardening. It was the same old problem, too many weeds, too much work.

After about 4 or 5 years with the wooden beds, they fell apart, rotted out. I needed new beds, not more wood, not treated wood (inorganic arsenic), not railroad ties (creosote), cinder blocks, that was the answer. This is when the cinder block gardens were born. I have never gone back to any other gardening system and never will. I can grow so much so efficiently and still have time for kids, piano lessons, baseball games, boy and girl scouts, church, greenhouse managing, writing, and seminars. Life is full to the brim! But, I still grow all the vegetables my family can eat. I now garden smarter not harder!

I have now finished my second book and have eight more that I want to write. I do gardening seminars and write articles for magazines. I am very busy bu t still time for the garden.

Happy Gardening!

Web site:

  • New Eden
  • Kids Garden
  • Plant a Row Grow a Row