At the heart center of this endeavor are three core concepts that run throughout most everything I do with Rain and Shine.
Grow. I love growing plants, and after growing first my own plants from seed for years, then growing for friends and family, I want to share the magic of homegrown plants with all of Louisville.
Nourish. From handmade bird seed treats to help our neighborhood feathered friends, to homegrown milkweed to host caterpillars, to nectar for the butterflies on the Mexican Sunflowers, I love the idea that we can help nourish the wildlife right outside our back door.
Simplify. Getting back to basics by exploring products that have fewer ingredients that we could even make ourselves at home is a goal of my own that I enjoy sharing with others too.
If you asked me how would I measure the success of this Rain and Shine endeavor, I would tell you about some pipe dreams I have.
What if even just maybe one home on every street in Crescent Hill had a Mexican sunflower, or a milkweed plant, or a giant sunflower for the bees and butterflies to gather on? What if next it was one home on every street in all of Louisville? Could we begin to be known for how much our community loves the earth and all it's inhabitants, and shows it in a real way? Would the butterflies make a special detour to see us? Sounds pretty silly, huh. But why not?
I picture a city where we acknowledge and respect the life therein, even the worms in our dirt. Where toxic weed killers no longer need to be stocked on shelves because we've found more natural alternatives, as a group. Where sparks of inspiration are ignited when folks see their first hummingbird visit a feeder. Where giggles are had when butterflies visit the hummingbird feeder. Where we smile and nod when we open our back doors and the LIFE gathered outside scatters. Where we can share our love of these experiences with each other, and swap stories, and have a laugh.
Some fundamental values I try to uphold while I'm going about the business of growing, nourishing and simplifying things include first and foremost, not distributing unneeded waste to you as consumers if at all possible. The vast majority of my plants are grown in either peat pots or biodegradable bags, both of which can be planted directly into the ground if you choose. Regardless, they both decompose nicely and leave no trace over time.
Another fundamental value is that any small business shouldn't JUST be about making money. No matter what we're doing in life, it should mean something and there should be a larger purpose for it, and Rain and Shine is no exception. I would rather go to my grave having sparked new interests and inspired growth and change, than to have a big stack of cash to take with me.
Speaking of inspiring others, that would be the last major tenant of this small business - the hope that the fun I've had over the years learning about the nature right outside my door will be infectious! I love the idea of offering cost effective items that are easy to get started with, that might attract a bird or a bee and spark our collective imaginations.
My own garden in Crescent Hill has inspired phrases from neighbors and passerby's such as - 'What a jungle!' and 'Love those giant sunflowers!' People even take selfies in front of the huge flowers, much to my excitement. Whether your garden is big and messy and crazy like mine, or as small as a single container with some thriving basil to use in your kitchen, I'd love to talk with you and grow plants for you that will create your version of your own back yard garden paradise.