An Interview with Master Gardener Amy Astrom
In a parallel universe, I know how to garden, or at least grow basil in a container. But in this universe, there are mosquitos and sunburns, so I just… don’t. When I think about women who garden, I think about strong hands, unpainted nails, and hair that stays hidden under a hat. But then I met Amy and she had… lash extensions. It was clear I needed to expand my idea of who a gardener is.
I met Amy at The Bakeaway, a branding and social media workshop I went to last fall. P.S. They just announced the second workshop for March 16 and I highly recommend going if you can. I sat next to Amy at dinner the first night and low-key fell in love with her. Amy is effervescent and kind, and I’m so glad we became friends. Meet today’s bitch, Amy Astrom!
What do you do and what is the name of your business?
I am a Master Gardener and a Master Composter in training. The goal of Flourish Gardens is to make the world a more beautiful place by empowering people to grow and to learn, all the while building an amazing community. We focus on teaching botany, gardening, seed saving, food cultures, cooking, and preserving, just to name a few. In addition, our community of farmers and gardeners will be able to share share seeds, advice, recipes, and harvests with each other, building lifelong connections.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
If you really want it, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.
Can you name the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
Self-care is of the utmost importance. You cannot give to others if you are empty yourself. I STRUGGLED with this after my boys were born. I wanted to give them everything and left myself with nothing. I didn’t eat properly. I didn’t sleep. I gained all the weight and let myself go. I felt like garbage. One day I realized that I deserved more than this, that my family deserved more than this. I started doing things that made me feel beautiful, like getting my hair or nails done. As I started getting momentum, I started working out and eating better. Now, I am a self-care machine and I am a better mom because of it. They say kids teach you just as much as you teach them, and this is one of the most valuable lessons they taught me. I share this because if it wasn’t for self-care, I would not be where I am today. And I sure as shit would not have this baller company.
What is your greatest success, or something you’re most proud of related to what you do?
I just completed my Colorado Master Gardener training and it was freaking awesome! I learned so much about gardening, but I also learned that it is impossible to know it all. Learning new things is part of what makes gardening so rewarding for me!
Do you have a morning or nighttime ritual?
I meditate for about 10 minutes in the morning before anyone else gets up. Before bed, I write 10 things I am grateful for. This keeps me looking for gratitude all the day long and it is the best. Truth be told - this doesn’t happen everyday. I have a 5 year old and a 3 year old, so some days I sleep until the last possible second and go to bed right after the boys are down. I do my best to give myself the grace to miss these routines when I need to.
What helps when you’re stuck?
When I am stuck, I get with people who inspire me. I love being around people who are getting after it (i.e. The BakeAway) and that brings me right out of a funk.
What does self care look like in your life?
Yoga almost every day, my morning routine, primping (getting my nails done, lash extensions, etc) and getting a massage as often as I can.
How do you feel about social media?
AHH!! I really have all the feels about social media. But just like with anything else, it is all in how you use it. Personally, I limit myself to Instagram because I feel like that is the only platform that inspires me and feeds my soul. I am quick to unfollow pages that make me feel bad about myself or I find totally negative or uninspiring. At first, I thought my business page should have some sort of immunity to negative pages that I followed because I was afraid of offending a follower. But, NO MORE! No one deserves to be bombarded with negativity. That shit is toxic.
Are there any women who helped pave the way for your success?
Karena Dawn. She is a founder of Tone It Up and the first woman I knew to have a very successful business, who was totally honest about her not-so-perfect past. I honestly used to think that the actions and mistakes I made when I was younger automatically removed any possibility for future success. I shudder to think about that now. When I read her bio for the first time and she openly admitted to her previous struggles with drug use, etc., I was floored. Although our past demons were not the same, her honesty made feel me free to be successful and free to finally forgive myself and move on.
Lastly, and most important, what is your favorite podcast and snack?
Don’t judge me, but I really don’t listen to too many podcasts (insert grimace emoji here). I am loving Audible these days. You are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero is always at the top of recommendation list. My favorite snack is apple slices with honey roasted peanut butter. But if I am really going for it, vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup and peanuts.