Mara Hill enjoys flower and vegetable gardening so much that she’d like to have a career in both one day.
Mara, 12, is the daughter of Matt and Lara Hill of Idaho Falls. Mara heard about farming from hearing stories about her grandfather’s farm from her dad.
“I really want to be a farmer. My dad’s grandpa owned a farm where a school is now and they raised a big garden and had cows and chickens,” Mara said.
Mara starting following her dad around the yard at a very young age, learning about landscape, sprinklers and gardening. She’s taken the initiative to start a garden at home.
She plants potatoes, peas, beans, carrots and kale and she raises sunflowers, roses, cone flowers and hot cakes. Cone flowers resemble a daisy whose pedals turn down instead of up. Also known as Echinacea, they are resilient and attract butterflies, bees and birds. They come in a variety of colors, reach a height of 2 to 4 feet and have fragrant blooms.
“I really like it when something I plant turns into something beautiful,” she said.
She wants to market her produce to customers directly off the farm.
“I’d like to sell produce and flowers and I’d like visiting with customers too,” she said. “I’d want to have some animals too. I think goats are cute if you train them right so they don’t become complete monsters.”
To learn more about gardening, Mara’s mentor is Pam Olsen who lives nearby and raises flowers and produce at 3210 E. Sunnyside Road.
“I’ve been coming here for about three months now and I like to see how everything grows and I really like to learn,” Mara said.
Olsen believes kids can find gardening fascinating when parents take the time to introduce them to the world of gardening.
“Mara is just amazing. We just get along really well. She takes such a deep interest in gardening and is excited about it and she’s really fun to be around,” Olsen said. “Mara was thrilled the first time we dug potatoes and thanked me for letting her learn about that. She soaks up every single thing and has input into everything we do. She’s now growing a small garden at home with quite a lot of different things in it.”