Made from Scratch

Stephanie Soerens, general manager of Soerens Ford in Brookfield, started gardening with her mother when she was young. Now Soerens, age 31, has taken her love for gardening to new heights.

“I call it my therapy,” she said.

Soerens starts her garden from organic seeds that she either buys or saves from her garden the previous year. She starts the plants in a south-facing window in her home and at the end of May plants them in her garden outside.

“There’s a certain satisfaction in watching things grow,” she said. “And now, being married and having a family of my own, it feels great to provide them with the best possible foods that I can. It’s very rewarding.”

Soerens planted this year’s seeds a few weeks ago. She will plant lettuce, spinach radishes, beats, carrots, suger snap peas, green beans, eggplant, jalapenos, four varieties of tomatoes, zucchini, acorn squash, seedless cucumbers, pickles, onions and maybe pumpkins in addition to her fresh herbs, she said.

“I am lucky to have this much space,” she said. “But you can work with the space that you have too.”

Soerens has learned her gardening techniques through many years of trial and error. She regularly shares the food from her garden with neighbors and colleagues and also cans and dries some of the food for her own use.

“At the end of the day, it’s a lot easier than people think,” Soerens said. “They are still just plants. They need water, sunlight, a little bit of attention, and the space to grow. I realize the amount that I do can be a lot of work, but for me, it’s relaxing. It gives me an excuse to spend time outside and it’s rewarding to see something you started from a seed grow into something that can provide so much for your family. I really enjoy it.”

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