Growing Older



"Once in a while, I think I've had an original thought, then I look and read around and realize Joan said it first."

--Michael Pollan


"It never ceases to amaze me what even a small piece of land lovingly tended can produce."

--Joan Gussow, This Organic Life: Confessions of a Suburban Homesteader


"As for my keeping on keeping on, I do believe that we are in serious trouble — maybe fatal trouble, that is, maybe it’s too late to stop the express train we’ve been riding on — but as I say to my students, suppose it’s too late? What are we going to do? Lie around reading novels and eating bon-bons? I think we should all try to live as responsibly as possible because it’s the right thing to do, and it’s what’s most likely to give our lives purpose. Working in the garden makes me happy, and after the incredibly heavy rainstorms and flood warnings of the last week, I had no flooding!"

From Leslie Hatfield's account of the rebirth of the garden, Our Hero: Joan Gussow





"Hope is the lesson Nature keeps teaching me. She keeps producing. She recovers. She creates beauty out of loss. She forgives us our impatience and frustration and insistence that things turn out the way we planned. They don't. They turn out the way she planned. We need to be willing to sacrifice control to learn adaptation."

Joan Gussow, from Growing, Older: A Chronicle of Death, Life, and Vegetables

Joan's beloved garden, before and after the deluge:

Summer 2008
Spring 2010

Garden    Flood

Photo by Leslie Hatfield
Photo by Georgianna Wells Burck

October 2010

Photo by Susan Freiman