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Almost every activity is an adventure in Wyoming, including gardening. While growing up in this beautiful state, my family planted everything that would grow in Wyoming’s less than ideal conditions. We usually yielded enough to feed six families for at least a year which meant a fall of canning, freezing, drying, and storing vegetables. In my adult life I’ve scaled back considerably, but have found new challenges nearly everywhere I’ve lived.
Between the vog (volcanic smog) and banana slugs the size of my index finger on Hawaii’s Big Island, paradise was my least successful gardening adventure. With a small dog, poison wasn’t an option, so I spent many a nights armed with a flashlight and tweezers squeamishly picking slugs off plants, trying to trap them with beer (this was relatively effective), and experimenting with a host of other natural remedies, but in the end I lost. Jackson Hole was another bust. No amount of carrying pots inside at night and covering those that couldn’t be moved with blankets could compensate for about a 60 day growing season. And, even that was no guarantee, as I learned one July 4th while watching fireworks in the aftermath of a summer snow storm.
South Dakota had similar climatic conditions to Wyoming, but the deer loved to dine on my plants. I tried deer repellent spray and apparently they found that to be merely a seasoning spritz for their salad of my flowers (including thorny rose bushes), vegetables, fruits, and shrubs. We enclosed the garden in a six-foot high chain-link fence. Problem solved? Not quite, I forgot about the chipmunks, squirrels, birds, and baby bunnies (these little guys are particularly fond of cauliflower and cabbage). However, I could grow tomatoes in mass quantities if protected from the deer.
Next, Nebraska, this had to be the place, right? Honestly it was pretty good, but I did have a constant battle with insects and moles burrowing through my tiny garden plot, and didn’t have the space to really take advantage of the heat, humidity and low elevation. But, my affinity for growing tomatoes continued in epic proportions.
Now, I feel like I’ve nearly come full circle. I’m not quite in Wyoming, but just across the border in Colorado. The jury is still out on how successful my inaugural garden season will be, but I keep trying and will always enjoy my adventures in gardening.
For a fictional romantic suspense adventure made even more deadly due to Wyoming’s challenging conditions, be sure to check out A Dose of Danger, book 1 in the Risky Research series.
When researcher Grace Talbot and her team discover a possible solution for weight loss they are targeted by a group dedicated to controlling the multi-billion dollar a year diet-product industry. Her unsanctioned testing methods bring tragedy to the family ranch and the attention of the local sheriff’s deputy. With her colleagues either dead, missing, or on the run she soon realizes she must trust the deputy with her life, but can she trust him with her heart?
About the Author: Kim McMahill grew up in Wyoming, which is where she developed her sense of adventure and love of the outdoors. She started out writing non-fiction, but her passion for exotic world travel, outrageous adventures, stories of survival, and happily-ever-after endings soon drew her into a world of romantic suspense. Along with writing adventure novels Kim has also published over eighty travel and geographic articles, and contributed to a travel anthology and cookbook. When not writing, Kim enjoys gardening, traveling, and spending time with family. She currently resides in Colorado.