We’re continuing our Featured Gardener series, in which we interview our community gardeners to learn a little bit about them and why they chose to be part of Crowley Station Community Garden. Today’s interview features Danni Niles, who has been with the garden since the beginning! Here she is…


1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do here in Madison. Include your garden experiences, if any!

I grew up on a vegetable farm. In our rural town I was heavily involved in youth agricultural programs like 4-H and FFA. I still go back about once a month to help my parents. I’d love to be making a living on the farm, but it just isn’t feasible right now with school loans. So, I’m working at the WI State Law Library. I get to meet a lot of really talented and interesting people at work.
2. What do you plan to grow in your garden plot?
This year I’ve planted a lot of green beans because they can be a fast growing summer plant. I’ve also planted a lot of herbs and marigolds for color and as an insect repellent. There are some hot peppers planted from seeds, but I don’t think there is enough time for them to be productive. It’s all a big experiment planting this late and after such heavy spring rains!
3. What made you decide to rent a plot in the Crowley Station Community Garden?
A regular patron at the library is Jane Anne Morris. She is the co-founder of the Downtown Community Garden Group. When I was discussing gardening with her one day, she mentioned that her group was working with First Settlement Neighborhood to start a new community garden only a few blocks from my house. I volunteered my time to help submit the final proposal and work on the planning details. It’s exciting to be a part of something right from the beginning.
4. What is your favorite vegetable to eat?
My favorite vegetable would be green beans. My favorite garden produce, though, are tomatoes. There is nothing better than a tomato right off the vine. I love to stuff them with cottage cheese as a summer treat.
5. Anything else you’d like to share with fellow gardeners and readers of this blog?
When I’m not helping out with the garden I love to do calligraphy. I’m also an avid reader.

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