Introducing Erica Plants
The proud owner of Gardening Under Influence LLC and Plant and Heal Co. where I operate a storefront and micro farm outside Savannah in Midway, Georgia as well as an online store.
This company is owned by a Black woman, committed to promoting edible landscaping, life skills, youth development, and regenerative organic practices.
I answer to a plethora of names include to Aunt/Mrs. E but I’m mostly known online as @gardeningunderinfluence where my journey into farming began in 2019, born out of a desperate need. When the medical care my husband received in military hospitals fell short, I turned to growing food as a means to regain control over our well-being.
Gardening, for me, goes beyond merely growing food - it's a way of nurturing my soul and seeking solace in nature. Knowing the origin of my food, from seed to table, is vital for my family's health and peace of mind. By cultivating our own produce, I ensure that no harmful chemicals or unknown risks threaten our well-being.
My journey doesn't stop at my backyard garden. I've embraced creativity and resourcefulness, using repurposed materials like bamboo sticks, rat tail combs, and even Easter buckets to support and nurture my plants. My unconventional approach proves that gardening can be accessible and sustainable for everyone.
Guided by the online gardening community, I've learned from fellow growers and shared my experiences through @gardeningunderinfluence. My platform is not only educational but also advocates for food security and sustainable practices.
My passion for gardening extends beyond my online presence. I've actively shared seedlings and fresh produce with military families in my community, embodying compassion and generosity. Recognizing the increased need during the pandemic, I've focused on caring for my family and myself while also supporting others in my community.
As I continue to inspire others to grow their own food, I've launched a YouTube channel @gardeningunderinfluence. With a focus on gardening on a limited budget, I aim to show that growing food does not have to be costly.
Living in Georgia's coastal humid heat of zone 8b/9a, I understand the importance of research before planting. I advise new growers to choose plants that thrive in their specific environment and consider factors like sunlight and shade.
Looking towards the future, my vision for Plant and Heal Co. has evolved. My five-year plan includes purchasing land to cultivate a food forest and opening a vineyard on a portion of the farm. Moreover, I plan to use this land as a sanctuary to house, train, and heal battered women, drawing from my own experience with domestic violence this year.
I also aim to develop a youth curriculum that anyone can teach, even on military installations, to impart life skills. This full-service farm will offer everything from seeds and seedlings to fresh produce, contributing to the dishes and wines that celebrate the rich diversity of Black culture.
Thank you for joining me on this journey. I am Erica Plants, and I am dedicated to promoting sustainable gardening practices, food security, and community support!