GAF Mission

"to TEACH inner city youth and/or underprivileged persons to be successful entrepreneurs while revitalizing inner city neighborhoods with a concentration on socially responsible/sustainable business practices"

GAF is the
Western Mass Office for

diy project

BUT…knowing I wanted to do something special with our wedding flowers, I decided to make a decision today. So I Googled it, of course. I debated a shadow box, but that seemed too obvious, and I wasn’t sure how my bouquet would fit in one. Plus, I’m also not sure how I feel about having a dry, now brownish, crunchy looking bouquet hanging in a box on my wall.

So then I came across a picture of some random looking flower petals in a glass container of some sort. I tried Googling other similar ideas but with “wedding” in the search, and I couldn’t find any other wedding bouquets or flowers in glass containers like I pictured in my mind. Either way, I took the idea and ran with it!

I went to Walmart, Target, TJMaxx (twice), The Dollar Tree, and Michael’s, comparing glass containers, vases, jars, etc. Somewhere . . . → Read More: diy project

Redefining "home."

There are not many things sweeter than coming home. Greeting your pet, snuggling up on your couch, enjoying a cup of coffee, sitting on the porch, sleeping in your own bed. Sometimes, when you’re in between physical homes, “home” becomes more of a person and less of a structure with four walls, a roof, windows, and doors. And when “home” becomes more of a person and less of a place, reunions are oh so sweet, and goodbyes are oh so hard.

Thankfully, we are in the reunion stage. And my heart is smiling brighter than my face.​Being 851 miles apart from your husband can easily make you very bitter, jealous, and depressed. It can consume and control your thoughts in the blink of an eye. Lonely nights, attending events alone, being a third wheel, dinners for one, phone calls for hours. It is hands down one of the biggest challenges . . . → Read More: Redefining "home."

truth be told…

So here we are, MARRIED! I cannot express enough how beautiful and joyful our wedding day was! I will forever remember how perfectly everything and everyone came together and how much love was felt that day.​But truth be told, every time I hear the question “how’s married life?” a piece of my heart just sighs and doesn’t want to answer.

[Do I smile? Can I smile? Do I say it’s wonderful or great? Do I go into all of the details of our situation? If I do, maybe they don’t really want to know or care. Then comes the ‘oh, how unfortunate’ or ‘I’m so sorry, that must be so hard’ or ‘distance makes the heart grow fonder.’ Really? How convincing can I sound? What do I do?]

Yes, I get it. It’s not quite ideal (or natural) to get married, spend a week in Jamaica feeling on top of . . . → Read More: truth be told…


Here’s a few pointers from a Upstate New Yorker. It’s not easy to drive in snow! Always, drive under the speed limit. Always, always drive cautiously! A must is, stay close to the yellow line. Slush and ice are plowed to the side of the road.. You will be pulled in, in a blink of an eye, if you get to close to the edge of the road. Always, bruah evey inch of snow off your car, before driving. The snow blows onto thr road and other cars behind you. Always, warm your car up before driving. This will hrlp keep your engine running better. Year round tires are a must. Always, keep extra blankets, scarf, hat mittens or gloves in your car, in case you break down. I wish you both the best.

Gardens and Pizza

Gardens and Pizza



I started New Growth Gardens to address a common problem – children graduate from high school with few skills and concepts for leading healthy and sustainable lives. New Growth Gardens uses gardens to introduce urban children to skills and concepts about health and sustainability. A garden is an ideal classroom for teaching organization, patience, work ethic, and observation. What’s more, a garden makes the science of biology, chemistry, ecology and nutrition more tangible. Finally, even children who identify as “vegetable haters” will often take a chance eating vegetables they have grow. Thus, gardening can be a step in developing healthy eating habits. Working with youth in Springfield, MA and Holyoke, MA, I witnessed what a garden can do for teaching youth important skills regarding health and sustainability. After the 2011 season ended, I traveled the country interviewing leaders in the world . . . → Read More: Gardens and Pizza

Harvesting worms

Red wiggler worms are able to eat half their body weight in food waste everyday.

Why does that matter? Well, ahem, uhh… their poop, also called worm castings, is a great organic fertilizer.

But when I apply the “fertilizer” to my garden, I don’t want to lose the worms that turned my garbage into something of value. So before I apply the compost to the ground, I harvest the worms and put them back in my worm bin (see picture below).

Right now, I don’t need the fertile worm castings, but come spring, I’ll use the them grow better food.

Custom herb boxes

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A normal day at the New Growth Gardens Youth Employment Training Program

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Trip to Red Fire Farm to get heirloom tomato seeds

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Organizing raised beds

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