Proprietor Interview: The Grateful Garden

By Pam Denholm

Proprietor:                                  Todd Breitensteingg

Small Local Business:              The Grateful Garden

Years in Business:                    This is the first one!

How did you discover your passion for gardening and growing food?

It’s just in me, I am amazed by the Earth and the incredible number of things that had to be just exactly perfect for life to arise, and arise in such spectacular fashion that it makes me grateful to be witness to it, and want to care for it, and defend it.

What is the nature of your business?

We will be offering sustainable garden supplies like soil amendments (compost, biochar, coconut fiber and more), veggie starts, sustainably sourced seeds from independently owned companies (heirloom and GMO free), design and installation for home vegetable gardeners, books on the subject, and plenty of advice (that’s free).

What are your sourcing policies, how do you choose what to offer in your store?

I choose local, sustainable, USA made and organic products. Everything we offer is selected with the best care, we choose only products that are sustainably made or sourced, they are renewable, recycled, chemical free, and from as close to home as possible. We go to great lengths to make sure you can have peace of mind when you come in, that everything on our shelves will help your garden, and help our environment.

What is a typical work day like?

Two steps forward one step sideways, two steps forward. You have to be flexible when you own your own business, you wear many hats, and you have to keep your eye on the big picture.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

Literally the birds, then wanting to hug my children.

What do you love about what you do?

Everything, even though I find planting seeds to be a bit tedious. I feel like how I spend my time, is filled with the integrity and philosophies I live by. Not everybody can say that, it feels good to come to work in the morning and know that you are making it easier for people who care to make good gardening choices. What’s not to love about that?

You are a new enterprise, so what are your dreams and goals for the Grateful Garden?

I dream big, and set lofty goals, so I would like to accomplish everything I want to do, I want this store to be everything I imagine it can be. I’d like to make a difference.

What are your thoughts on the future of food in America?

As consumers we have made farming the train wreck that it is because we want everything cheap, I saw garlic from china at the grocery store . . . I mean, come on, really? You are what you eat.

If someone is impacted or inspired by you, and wants to learn more, where do you suggest they start?

Most towns have a sustainability group these days, where you can meet many passionate and knowledgeable people to help guide you. Start with your community, your neighbors. Many local libraries are a great resource too, and then there is the internet, where searching local food and sustainable gardens brings up many, many directories and options.

What is your favorite thing to eat and how do you prepare it?

My favorite produce is anything I grow myself, picked fresh and eating raw, right out of the garden.

The Grateful Garden
965 Washington St
Hanover, MA 02339



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