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Lawn and Garden

My Story

by Andrew Jozwik
Johnny Appleseed Greenhouses
08/01/2013 - August is the hottest time of the year, so naturally we need to be paying attention to the amount of water we are giving our yards and gardens. I looked back over the last five years that I have written an August article for Our Town Casper, and low and behold every August I have talked about how much to water your plants. So this year I thought I would try to shorten up my watering tips for you so that I don't bore you to tears with another article about watering. So in summary I would just say that the right amount of water for your plants this time of year is… a lot. Don't water every day unless necessary, but every other day heavily should be good for most of the plants and your lawn, unless you have new sod or plants then it will be more.

Instead of writing about watering I would rather spend this month telling you about how I got into this business. Many people I talk to figure that I just fell into doing this because my dad started it. But it wasn't that way. Come to think of it I still remember the day I got fired from Johnny Appleseed when I was 15. At the time I thought my dad was being too hard on me but now that I look back I see that in all actuality I would have fired myself long before he did. His patience was far greater than I ever gave him credit for. But when I was 15 I thought it was perfectly acceptable to hang out all night with friends and then saunter in to work whenever I felt like it. (Don't tell my kids I said that.) The day I got canned was about the fifth or sixth time I had decided my starting time would be 11:00. Well it turned out that Dad was planning on it being 7:00 that day. I slunk into the greenhouse, and it wasn't more than two minutes before my dad graciously escorted me back outside and said, " If you think you can come in to work anytime you feel like, I think it is time for you to get the he.. out of here." I was horrified, not because I had gotten fired, (I actually felt pretty sick that day.) but because I knew I had tested my dad to his limit. So I left licking my wounds and trying to figure out how I would make amends. Truth was I actually really liked the greenhouse, but I liked my social life better.

After feeling bad for myself for a day or two I got a lead on a job opening at the refinery here in town. They had a lawn mowing position open that usually had a waiting list. But just as I got fired another kid I knew went a little girl crazy and he just up and quit. I found out and went right out there and applied. I still don't know why but the HR director decided to give me a shot even though I was so young and inexperienced. I still try to let him know how much I appreciated that when I see him now. Well it turned out that I worked a lot harder for people who were not my parents, and I ended up working out at the refinery for the next seven years. All the people I worked for out there were very good to me, and I tried to work hard for them. One of my bosses Steve even gave me a work truck! It was an old Ford diesel that was so addicted to starting fluid that I had to keep a case of it in the back. But I LOVED that truck, my favorite trucks are still Ford diesels. Anyways, I fit well out there and I was going to college to be an environmental geologist when my dad asked me to come back out to the greenhouse and work again. By that time I had been at the refinery so long that I was about to apply for an operations position. That position would have been twice the money the greenhouse could pay me, and I was about to get married so I had a lot to consider. I talked it over with my girlfriend and of course she said I should do what I wanted… thanks for the help honey. I decided to go back to the greenhouse and it was the best decision I ever made. The hours are way longer, and I still haven't matched the refinery job in money but the best parts of this job have nothing to do with money or work itself. Spending the last ten years working with my dad has given me something more than money could ever buy -- time with him and my mom. In addition, although my wife would argue that the hours of this job make our lives harder, I think she would agree that having a job where we can work it as a family has been great.

I suppose the reason I decided to write about this this month is because for the last seven months I have been so overwhelmed with what I needed to do each day that I have not thought much about the finer things about life. I think that is something we can all relate to. Life is so hard trying to forge ahead and provide something for our families, while at the same time balancing everything else in life so that we don't end up old and alone wondering where the time went. So I thought maybe there were some of you out there who have been running so hard for so long, that maybe writing about me a little might strike a common chord. No matter if it did or not, at least I didn't unleash with the August watering tips again. But Just a reminder… be sure you are watering your plants enough during the heat of August.

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