The End is Near, Retirement is here!

Nothings brings one’s head around like good old fashioned stress! Only this time it is different…

In the last couple of months, I have been coupled with some new challenges. My parents are getting old. My wonderful Mom is 81 this year and my Dad is 90. They have done quite well for their age and up until end of March 2013, were both living at home in their gigantic bungalow. Due to rapidly declining health, my Mom had to be placed in a care home quite suddenly. Father could no longer met the challenges Mom gave him.

In addition to this, my Dad’s health is also failing him. AND he needed to move out into a smaller abode, closer to Mom. Because of certain conditions, my sister, brother and I have been through the “wringer”, time wise to met sooooo many issues, as a result. What makes this all so flustering is “other” folks not doing their legal part, or at least not giving us all the facts. Hard to do one’s job when there are “holes” in the Swiss cheese.

Both my sister and I come from Nursing backgrounds. Having to go through all this, despite our experience, was the hardest thing, first to accept and then to process. We always thought…ya, others have this problem. Suddenly…WE have this same problem!

All my life I remember our parents…working together. Working, working…working. They never went on a vacation. Always home enjoying the fruits of their labor and doing what they knew best…slave to the farm.

It got me thinking. I am a slave too. I always believed that I needed to do my part in this world. My mission was to expose as many people as I could touch, to the wonders of heritage vegetables. I did it in as many ways as I could, talking about them, offering them as seed, growing/trialing them out and finally offering them as plants. I truly lived and breathed HEIRLOOM VEGETABLES! AND I loved it! I realized that I had been doing this since 1989. That was 24 years ago!2014 will be 25 years, a quarter century of lovingly growing heritage vegetables. A fitting number to add to my “growing” history.

What I am really trying to say (by my headliner) is this: All my life I have been working, since I can remember from a wee mite of 6 years old. And I think I worked quite hard. It seemed the “thing” to do…and I truthfully, enjoyed it. But, what has happened…I never took time to enjoy the great beauty around me and appreciate what our world had to offer. I was too busy holding down sometimes as many as 2 and half jobs! The realization of this is suddenly NOW staring me straight in my face!

I want to get off the roller coaster ride, that I have put myself on. Having said this…

I looked my hubby square in the eyes last week (April 24, 2013) and made the announcement: I have had enough! (As I was dragging yet another 5 gallon pail of water to the small GH…) He said “I was wondering how long it would take you to finally admit that” Having said that…2014 will be the last year that I will be offering plants at my Green House. From 2014…October and onwards…I will offer SOME seeds (marked “AV”…) on a hobby basis….where I find myself with too many seed at years’ end…

I will keep my website on line, if nothing else except to be a resource for future gardeners alike. And I will gladly be available to help out anyone who consults with me. Who knows? Maybe I’ll start a consulting company? “How to garden the wrong way…” L0L!

Yes folks. I’d admit this might come as a shock. But in my mind the best time to walk away gracefully is when you are at the top of your game. AND I FEEL at the top of my game! No regrets!

What a rush! What a journey I have been on!

Kind Regards!


p.s. As I can find time, I will be posting photos of my last G.H. vegetable activities. Hopefully my hubby (the photographer) will do the moments justice. It will take some courage on my part to offer this rare glimpses, as I generally avoid the lens like it was the plague!


Gloria T

Oh my Mandy. I have gone through and I am still experiencing the aging parents\’ wringer. I can relate. Time to breathe deeply and take care of yourself, because burning out helps no one. Take heart, soon enough you will be gardening for pleasure with a big shit grin on your face. Oh course we are sorry to see you go, but happy to wish you well on the next stage of your journey. Cheers! Gloria T.

Mandy Botincan

Dear gardening friend, thank you for your encouraging words. As soon as I finished my (retirement decision) confession, a huge weight came off my chest. (I cried as I read my letter to my hubby…) I realized that I can never do things only in half measures. I either get too involved or the project (for me) will never get off the ground. I felt it was time to gracefully step aside and let my “gardening children” go it alone. I know they will be alright. Mandy


Damn, does that mean I am out of a job? Heck of a way to find out!

Mandy Botincan

Brat! You keep that up…and I will “un-adopt” you!


Hi Mandy,
All good things must end. I have gone to your green house for plants or seeds and have enjoyed it every time. I hope you will have a great goodbye luncheon this year. Really enjoyed that. As for me, this is the last year I am gardening and even then it is going to be very small this year. Will see you soon but will miss you. Enjoy your golden years. Make each day count.
I am enjoying mine. We go south every year. Love it and lots of times we go a different way and enjoy the trips.
Bye for now.
Anne from Cooks Creek, MB.

Mandy Botincan

Thank you Anne. It is folks like you that make it all worthwhile. I will certainly have to think of some kind of celebrations with my gardening friends…maybe 2014??!!


Way to go Mandy! I wish you years of peace and joy…gardening (or not) at your own speed with time for contemplation.
I will miss you – you have been part of my garden for many years — my “Tomato Lady” ; so wise and patient.
All the best to you.

Mandy Botincan

Kind, kind words. Not deserving, but very humbled to receive them. Thank you, Mandy


NOOOOOO!…from a totally selfish point of view, I don’t want to lose you!!The other half understands family and personal life is also important. Do what makes the most sense and fulfillment to you and for your sanity. We will stay in touch. Valerie D. Wpg., MB

Mandy Botincan

I am not going anywhere! I will still be here, only not as often. We will certainly keep in touch. Still a lot of journeying to do…L0L! Mandy

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