- by Wendy Sullivan
Dirty Girl Gardens
828 US–90 Suite I & J
Bay Saint Louis, MS
Open Thursday through Sunday,
10 – 5
April Martin came to the Mississippi Gulf Coast with her family through a Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) experience in Carriere. Tired of long winters up north, she fell in love with the gardening and farming options here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
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Dirty Girl Gardens grew out of April’s dream to develop her shop into a unique experience combining education, experiences and supplies to engage the community in substantiable organic practices. She embraces the idea that health, wellness, and nature are intertwined for well-being. April explained that she “loves sharing all things that make people feel well.”
Building on her foundation beliefs and experiences, April has stocked her shop with organic gardening supplies, plants, art, and sundries that are good for the soul. Even the display fixtures are interesting – for instance, a large wooden wire spool is draped with art, pottery, and plants.
“Mississippi’s ecosystem is so diverse,” April says. “One of my main mission is to help people discover ways to maintain it. We want to keep our community beautiful and healthy!”
While the Mississippi Gulf Coast presents year-round opportunities for developing a backyard vegetable garden, the environment also presents some challenges to the uninitiated. April has reached out to Mississippi State Extension Agent, Dr. Christian Stephenson. He’ll be making occasional presentations at the center on taking advantage of the gifts our local conditions present.
Classes have begun at this newly opened shop. A workshop on backyard chickens brought a slew of folks ready to feast on free range eggs from their backyards. A Dirty Girl Spirit Fest (an arts weekend in July), a Pets’ Portrait Sip and Paint, and an Introduction to Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction are all on the calendar (of course, all the events will be listed on the Shoofly’s Community Calendar!).
April is also planning to host interactive children’s programs in her large open shop space. She is open to ideas and ready to meet the needs of the home school community. This green-thumbed entrepreneur also plans to open her shop kitchen to serve vegan and vegetarian treats. The Dirty Girl Gardens Facebook page is regularly updated with info on new products in the shop.