Our First Friday artist interview with Kelley Nash, who will be selling products here at GreenBeing on November 4th! Come check it out, or visit www.gardensbykelley.com for more info!
How and when did you become interested in herbs and their benefits?
I grew up on Staten Island. My grandmother was an avid gardener, so it is in my genes. My teacher Monika Struna gave me my first perennial in 1994 and my love for gardening came back to me. I put the plant in the ground and was amazed at how it just kept giving. I started a gardening business in 1999 and I became very knowledgeable about ornamentals. I got bored so I started to identify the weeds. The weeds in our gardens are these very powerful herbs that I started to cultivate.
When did you decide to turn your passion into a business?
I was a single mom that needed to be there for my children, so instead of being on someone else’s schedule I persevered with building my own business. My mother taught me that if you what you love, the money will come. Finally after 12 years in business, I am starting to reap the benefits.
What will you be featuring this 1st Friday at GreenBeing?
For First Friday I will be sharing my miniature gardens in glass. They are small gardens that I have been cultivating for 2 years. They are always changing and need to be attended to, so they are great for people that can not go out and putter in the ground but have the love for the earth and need to get dirty. They also symbolize what is happening today with global warming -the plants are filtering our air and water and need to be respected.
In addition to small gardens, I will be bringing my dried herbs in glass, which to me is a garden in glass because they are beautiful, fragrant and functional in supporting a healthy lifestyle. I will basically bringing my own medicine cabinet.
The other products I will be bringing are my devotion to the honeybees. I make natural skin care products from organic-virgin beeswax from my hive. I call them herbal infusions.
Tell us more about your garden planning/designs.
I build and design sustainable landscapes, and collaborate with my clients to build their dream garden. I use stone, plants, wood, metal and earth to achieve a natural balance for all living things. I use ancient universal methods, working with nature.
What are your inspirations?
I am inspired by my love for God, our creator. Every time I witness one of Gods creation- bears, honeybees, butterflies etc. in one of my gardens, I am truly honored that I am able to create a safe, harmonic sanctuary. People coming to my booth at a festival and telling me how thankful they are for spreading the word about green living also inspire me. I can go and on, not to mention my beautiful children’s smiling faces.
What are your aspirations?
I aspire to be free.
What has been one of your biggest challenges in your business journey?
My biggest challenge is to make enough money to pay bills, harvest enough herbs so that I can pay bills, and to keep faith in this confused world.
How do you balance your work life and home life?
I balance the two by meditation, yoga, exercise, reading the scriptures, herbal remedies, being around joyful spirits and love. My work life is my home life.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve learned thus far?
My best advice I have learned is to compost. If you want to start your own garden you must build your soil— you do that by using your food and paper waste as a commodity. Do not throw away anything -there is a use for all things. Ironically I learned about composting when I became a master gardener through a Cornell Cooperative Extension course. Also, the plants that come to us in our gardens are the medicine you need.