A little bit about the author, from a daughter’s perspective:
My dad has been a gardener all my life and I’m just now realizing it. Why only now? Because he’s been so casual about it. I have always known ‘tomato growing’ was in our family as both of my grandfathers were excellent casual gardeners. I remember sliced and salted, fresh-from-the-garden tomatoes as a side at every summer supper. In Michigan, everybody around thought our backyard was a wiffle-ball field when actually, it was a fruit tree orchard. I’d sit under an apple tree with my dad and he would thinly slice a golden delicious to share. I couldn’t put it into words at the time, but now thinking back, it was a ‘wait, we were just playing two-hand-touch-nerf football and now I’m eating an apple out of nowhere and where did that pocket knife come from?’ moment. My dad, the calculated casual gardener, artfully transitioned us from one activity to the next learning moment in an instance. Even to this day, as you enter his front walkway in Weaverville, he will subtly reach down and grab a bright green leaf, crinkle it between his fingers, and, wow, a cool crisp whiff of mint stops you in your tracks. The next thing you know, you are crinkling mint up too. Often I’m just stopping by to say hello and chat he has magically filled my tote with turnip greens, spinach and collards. Okay, I think, where did these greens even come from? I mention all this to simply emphasis that he has a way of doing amazing things quietly over time, just like he has written this book. So if you see his flower beds packed with daffodils, azaleas, iris’s and daisies, know that hidden within are radishes, carrots, herbs, berries and sweet potatoes. A secret garden! It’s been there all along, all these years, and my dad, The Casual Gardener, has been there too.