Virginia Leichty • The Good of Goshen

Virginia Leichty

Urban Gardner

About four years ago, I was so sick with Lyme disease that I could only get up enough to eat and take care of myself and then lie on the couch. After going through a year and a half of treatment, I started feeling a lot better. Since then, I have been so grateful for being able to just work and walk. So work has become a gift to me, having gone through that experience. It’s just brought a new definition of gratefulness that I can do this.

I grew up in the New Paris area, and was part of the first graduating class at Fairfield High School. When I got married, my husband Phillip and I went to Bolivia. Two years later, he got a job in his home town of Rensselaer, Ind. We were there until last summer, and then we moved to Goshen. Our daughter Gina lives here.

We grow zinas, cosmos, sunflowers, daylilies that I brought from Rensselaer; We happened to live near a daylily farm there. I love Monarch butterflies, so I got some milkweed plants. We also have black-eyed Susans, coneflowers, liatris, hostas, Russian sage, stonecrop, irises, a butterfly bush, hydrangeas, dahlias, a miniature lilac bush, and nasturtiums.

Those green beans are growing on a sculpture that had been on the property. My husband and I moved that structure on top of this bed and planted beans around it just to see what would happen.

We’ve also got a variety of tomatoes, as well as yams, cucumbers, peppers, and squash.

Compost is a gardener’s friend. If you do the compost well, it really cuts down on the amount of weeding that you have to do.

Gardening is just a time to be quiet and think. I do a lot of praying when I’m weeding. Nobody comes around and bothers you too much. It’s one of those places where you can be alone and just think quietly. For me, it’s really helpful just to do that. It’s cathartic. I enjoy it a lot.

Writing, editing, and photography by Scott Weisser and Neil King

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