People with Dirty Hands: The Passion for Gardening
People with Dirty Hands Why do some people have their hands in dirt? What causes someone to become obsessed with the process of growing something, whether it be a tangle of flowers, chiles hot enough to make your eyes water, or a rambling rose plucked from a tumbledown house? Author Robin Chotzinoff took a road trip (several, actually) across America to find the answers. People with Dirty Hands is what she found. It rings with the voices of people singularly possessed: Margaret Sharpe and Pam Puryear, founders of the Texas Rose Rustlers; Doug Beck, president of California Garden Ladies, who harvests hibernating ladybugs from their leafy beds for commercial sale; and Bill Palmer, whose garden is home to 450 tomato plants, simply because "You really can't buy a tomato." In vivid style, Chotzinoff captures the all-encompassing fervor—and hope—that can drive a person to create a vegetable garden from a concrete, hypodermic-strewn landscape or to plant seed while snow still threatens. It is the immutable promise of life.