Master of the Green Thumb- Mr. Rutherford

Krystal Orehek, Reporter

One day I was in an AP Biology Zoom when Mr. Rutherford told us he was going to give us a tour of his garden. He took us outside and showed us a garden that has taken over his entire backyard and is even seeping into his front, which somehow was the most Rutherford-esque thing I’ve ever seen. I immediately became curious about it because I’ve grown my fair share of tomato plants, but this was on a whole different level. Luckily, I was able to get the inside scoop on this green spot in the desert.

Garden 5.0 (Mr. Rutherford)

Rutherford’s first venture into gardening was growing an arugula plant in a pot on the balcony of his apartment, which didn’t go so well. He moved, tried with more plants, and failed again. Then he moved again, and this time he got chickens! If only they didn’t get out and eat the garden. Approaching garden 3.0 with mulch, horse poop, and tips from Mr. Davis, Rutherford finally reached what he considers his first success. Though he got visited by lettuce-eating javelinas, putting up a fence prevented it from happening again. He would then move again and tend to a garden at his friend’s house until reaching garden 6.0, his current place of planting. Where he is staying now is more stable, so he’s able to confidently create a large garden; although, he says there are some benefits to restarting such as learning from your mistakes. He says he’s often described as an overboard guy, “When I save the environment, I really save the environment.” So, in the future, he wants to expand as much as he can and maybe even have land with more animals and plants, garden 7.0.

Mr. Rutherford

Helping the environment and taking care of his health are his main motivations for gardening. Even though it seems like a big job, things like reducing his carbon footprint and eating fresher foods, “make it easy to invest time, energy, and money.” On the topic of time and energy, Rutherford says he invests “wayyyy too much” time tending to it; however, the time you spend on it can be very flexible. When first starting up, he said he could spend about 6 hours a day for two months in the garden. Despite the grueling start, he ended up being able to go a week not thinking about it when we were in school and make adjustments on the weekends. Now that we have more unfilled time in our days, he’ll spend half an hour to an hour outside every day, depending on what he’s doing.

Mr. Rutherford

A lot of people might assume that because we’re in the desert, a plentiful garden is out of the question, but there are actually some benefits. Though he struggled during the blazing hot summer, he thinks it’s easier to provide ways for the garden to cool down rather than warm-up. In the winter seasons, Arizonians can grow many things people in other states can’t due to snow and harsh winters.

If you’re wondering what Rutherford is most proud of growing, it would be his celery. He said it took a long time and was hard, but when he succeeded it was, “freakin’ delicious.”

If you want to start developing your own green-thumb Rutherford would love to help you if you email him at [email protected]