Hello there, I’m Huan.
My love for gardening was inevitable having been raised by two grandmothers with epically green thumbs. One was a paleobotanist who had all sorts of weird and cools seeds around the house and the other was a farmer-turned-dumpling-entrepreneur who prized the freshest ingredients.
I studied environmental science and marketing in college and was miraculously able to combine these interests into a career in nonprofits focused on social justice, food security and sustainability issues. In one of these roles, I drove a big green pickup truck planted with fruits and vegetables to help educate kids on where their food comes from and how to eat healthier.
I currently work at a Big Ten university in science communications and spend my free time gardening, binging gardening videos and trying to keep my cat Nevis from destroying everything in sight.
Q: What’s your favorite plant?
A: My favorite plant is the American Dogwood which is the state tree of my home state – Virginia. Growing up, I had a beautiful dogwood tree right outside of my window. It would welcome spring with an explosion of pink blossoms and turn a beautiful crimson in the fall. Even though my parents have long moved out of that house and I no longer live in Virginia, I always get transported back to my childhood home every time I see a dogwood tree.
Q: What is your “spirit vegetable”?
A: My spirit vegetable is lotus because I’m Chinese and this is an important plant in our culture and cuisine. Like the lotus, I love being in the water!
Q: What’s the most unusual plant you’ve grown?
A: The most unusual plants I’ve grown are lithops as a part of the Botany Club in college. We would put on plants sales every semester and these little plants were always a hit with students who wanted something that they can easily keep alive in the dorms. Lithops are also known as “living stones” because of their unique appearance, although I always thought they looked like tiny brains!