close up of a white butterfly

When I started working at Reiman Gardens, I had an intense fear of insects – basically all kinds of them. I wouldn’t touch insects. In the month that I have worked there, I have grown, and now I can even hold them. The reason there are insects at the Gardens is that sustainability is a key part of their philosophy and goals. No insecticides are used, and I think that is great. I have always been a big supporter of going the “natural” route and staying organic. I am both a Horticulture and an Environmental Studies student, so I have learned a lot about the harmful effects the chemicals have on the environment.

One of my first days at the Gardens, a coworker released about a million newly hatched praying mantises into the greenhouses where I spend a lot of my time working. Mantises eat all kinds of insects like aphids. Being in this environment has gotten me interested in entomology, which I never thought I would say before. I am grateful for this experience. I learn things every day, and I am expanding my interests and getting over my fears.

Written by Morgan Bradley