The Beginner In Us All

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Gosh, it’s been way too long. I cannot explain how amazing it is to be back. And now we have added. Well, let me say this. We have added a video component to our podcast now. It was one of the things I wanted to add, and here we are. So you can see me talk to you weekly if you would. So desire.

And that’s a pretty exciting thing. The other thing that maybe if you follow me on social media, you have noticed is that. We have launched a new level of our online community. So, if you have not been aware, our online community is a space where people can come together and talk about gardening and learn together. There are tons of downloads to help you. There is an endless library of learning material and videos, from five-minute lessons to past events, where I teach you everything you need to know about gardening.

Well, you also have an online community, but we did a new thing this year. We added in courses. Every month, a new course is released, which might sound like a lot of information to take in and maybe a lot of work. Maybe you already feel busy, and the best part is that it’s all at your own pace. It is designed to be done at the pace that is right for you.

We have our beginner course, which has already launched. But we have a total of 12 courses coming out this year. Like one course every single month. But if you’re still like, ah, this still sounds like a lot, and you want to explore and check out what we’re doing. The best part is you can. Now all you have to do is go to community.freshexchange.com And there there’s actually one free monthly workshop every single month. You can attend that has to do with some topic or part of the course we’re launching that month. And you can get a sense of it. You can also take our free herb garden course. It is not in a normal course format, but it is still a really awesome course with great information. And it is really, to me, the best garden to start with. It’s simple; it’s really foolproof for the most part. And the best part is it’s a container garden. You can transport it. It’s a low investment. You also get to grow something, and it’s beautiful, and get your start with the garden. Or even if you’re just in a transitional place in time in life.

It’s a great place to begin. So I did all this. I launched all this, and that’s why I’ve been quiet. On the podcast, but cause it’s just little me and my other half that does all this. I am really excited to see where this goes. It’s really been exciting to watch, even just the first people take our courses and to take what was our beginner ebook and turn it into a full-fledged e-course. And it’s not just a normal course. This is a community-driven course. So it is all about community connection. There’s a chat space where you can ask questions. It’s really cool, and it’s more than I ever imagined it to be.  I’m really, really, really just happy it’s out there and started. There’s been so much thought. I mean, I was recording these videos in August last year.

So I’ve been planning all this for so long that it feels exciting to see it happen. A lot is going on for me at the fresh exchange, but I know that’s true for you guys too. And so this episode Since we launched our beginner course. I just wanted to talk about the fact that we are kind of taking on this essence of what it is to be a beginner. We’re all starting a new year. We are all in a new space. And I feel like there’s just like a really great new energy to live in some ways. I don’t know what it is, but I don’t know if I’m taking more vitamin D than I normally do, but I feel like life is moving in a great direction. Like, I can sense that, but that is to say, I also know that we’re all beginning in some ways. I can think of ways I’m beginning in my life, and when I was putting together the beginner gardener course and working through it, I thought about this idea.

We all go through different phases, and at any given moment, we’re all beginners. We’re all starting something new. We’re all figuring something out. It can be really small. It can be really big. Maybe you’ve decided to get active this year, and you’re starting by deciding you’re going to go for a walk every day. Maybe you’re starting a new job. Maybe you lost a job and are trying to figure out what you’re doing next. That is a beginner position. So, whether you’re a beginner gardener, or whether you’re a beginner mom, or you’re a beginner parent or a beginner in a new job, or you moved to a new city, we could keep going, or you just decided this month that you’re like every single day, this month, I’m going to go for a walk.

Yep. You’re a beginner at that. Okay. So we all have the beginner in all us. And I love the beginner mindset because it begins at a raw and blissful place. You have little knowledge to work from, which is both a challenge and a gift because you don’t know what lies ahead. Sort of like a bliss state of mine. You can be like, wow, I am excited to try this and curious. 

You don’t totally know what will happen along the way. But that’s why we need people who actually do know that are further along, that are deeper into the experience, and yes, this is why I created the course, but I also think this is why we need community. This is why we need people around us.

I think we can get high on our hunches or feel we’re proving something to ourselves or proving something to someone else that we don’t need to ask for help, that we don’t need to ask for guidance. That we don’t have to put ourselves out there and say, you know, I’m new at this. How how do you do this? And I know that that’s a deeply humbling experience to do because I’ve been there. I’m not very good at it. I don’t like not being good at something. But the longer I pursue new things, the more I say, “I need help. I am not good at this.” The more I grow and adapt and change, become more interesting as a person, and develop more depth to who I am. So I love people beginning their gardens right now and thinking about starting a garden, whether in a new spot or in a new space in general, or maybe you’ve never grown a garden. Maybe never even sowed a seed.

It doesn’t even matter. I love that because you are starting so fresh, but two things are the best way to be a great beginner.

  1. It is to be completely okay with the fact that you need to ask for help. That doing something as a beginner and doing it alone without somebody guiding you in some way, holding you accountable, or anything like that is just not as enjoyable. It’s better to have somebody by your side to say. Hey, this might happen. That’s okay. That’s normal. And we’re gonna navigate that together, and I’ll show you the way.
  2. Is that you also don’t want to do too much too fast. So when I say, oh, you decided to get active this year. So you’re going to go for a walk every day. Right? That’s because it’s easier to start small. It’s easier to start with those things that are simple to achieve. And so when we’re beginning anything, we should never take on too much because there’s so much we’re intaking and learning at the beginning. Small is better so we can intake it properly. So I always say to people who are starting a new garden. You know, Don’t do too much too quickly. This is why I have that free garden course now. I am so excited about that because it is free, and it is the exact place you should start because it’s small, one grow bag with some herbs and flowers, and it is so beautiful and enjoyable.

I’m just so happy that it exists now and not just because I made it. Just because, in general, I think it’s so important to have a place to start small that gives you the guidance in order to do that. But then why I love the beginner gardener course because I prescriptively walk you through how to grow 2 raised beds. And I think that is just massively important because it’s somebody leading you through the process. I have taken all the guesswork out so you can experience this, and you can walk away feeling a lot of success and continue feeling inspired to add on and grow. It doesn’t matter if you grow this same garden the next year; it doesn’t matter. You’ll learn new things. But I’m going to help walk you through that process in a way that makes you feel successful because, as I said, it’s really hard to be a beginner and not have somebody that is helping you along the way or holding you accountable.

Thus, why have a community around our courses. I want you to feel that success. I want you to feel as if it’s a no-brainer. I want you to feel it was so easy because it can be if we do it with the right tools and the right things, and one of them is that we get help and that we have so many who support us through the process. So, I love this because. I have learned that as I get older, the more deeply I value people who say, “I’m not good at that, but I want to be.” And they ask for help and ask for guidance. Then they get curious, and I love curious people. It’s why I garden because it continually feeds my curiosity. That is why I love doing my job. And it’s why I think. I’ve found a real grounding experience as a parent. It’s completely curious. So it’s all about play and approaching life that way. So I hope that some of this is in this short little podcast to kick off our year, Is it encouraging you to be okay with being a beginner? Whatever that is for you, whether it’s a garden. Whether it’s something new in life.

There’s so much that we all are beginning at various stages in various ways. I just said to our online community in an event that at beginning of this year, I was beginning to create a very serious berry patch, and I am a beginner with this because of the new location and weather from my past experiences. And I told my community so they can help me be good at it because some of them have done that. They can assist me through that process. Hold me accountable. Teach me ways to do it well. We can learn together side by side and remain curious together side by side. So it’s such a fun process to learn this way. Choose to be a beginner in this way because it feels less overwhelming when you know that you’re not the only one.

I think back to being a new mom, and I did a terrible job of asking for help. It was why I probably got postpartum depression and anxiety. I did not ask for help. I thought I could do it all. I thought I could be back to my old jeans in 10 days. Wow. I didn’t know it would take three years, which is actually more normal. So. I didn’t have girlfriends and friends around me, and I didn’t allow people to be around me. It sounds weird, but I didn’t open those doors very easily because I’m so introverted. And as a result. It led to a place of being isolated and not my best because I didn’t take advantage of something that I could have.

That was on me and no one else. I could have asked for help. And I wasn’t very good at it and felt it burdened other people. So I learned so much from that, that when I went through it the next time, when I was new again, in the sense that I now have two, I asked for that help. I immediately was like, I’m pregnant, and this is when I’m going to have the baby, so I need help in every single moment I possibly can take it till I can find my feet under me once again. And I will find comfort in my body’s process and all of that because I have guidance and support. To know that that’s what’s going to happen, and I will allow for that guidance and support through this process of being new and beginning something new. 

I hope that’s helpful. If you are at that stage of beginning new in any way. 

If you are interested in jumping in, remember you can head to the community at any time you can join, you can. Well, first of all, you can check out what we’re doing, and then you can join in through any of the links on there. It’s really simple, as we have shifted our membership options. So there’s a three-month, six-month, and annual, so whatever fits best for you and your commitment is perfect. Make sure you sign up for those free workshops as well! There’s one every single month. You can see all of those in the community.

Thanks, you guys. As always, until next time, I’ll see you out there.

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Hello! I’m Megan Gilger,

A strong believer that nature and the seasons are our greatest teachers. We live on a hill in Leelanau County, Michigan just a stone’s throw from Lake Michigan. This land we are responsible for is where we are focused on building a life around the seasons and intention. We spend our days here building a regenerative model of living and focusing our garden on native plants and intensive polyculture planting styles. My focus is less on self-sufficiency and more on community-sufficiency through how we grow and connect through the seasons.
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