Forty Under 40 Perspectives: From beginner to Epic Gardening By Kevin Espiritu

There’s nothing magical about growing a garden — only patience, learning from your mistakes, and finding new and creative ways to keep on growing.

Kevin Espiritu

When I first started gardening, I didn’t know how to grow anything; I hadn’t the slightest idea of how it all worked. So I started a garden, picked up a packet of Marketmore cucumber seeds and decided to try growing a plant. I wasn’t very good at it, at least at the beginning, so I tried to become better. Obviously, now, I can grow quite a bit! And if I can do it, anyone can.

It took me three years to figure out how to grow a luffa gourd correctly. The first year I didn’t get any, the second year I got one, and by the third year I got a whole bunch. It’s just the persistence of trying, being patient with your own failures and giving it another go.

And now, seeing how far we’ve come since starting our blog, YouTube and all of the other platforms, the movement we’ve been able to be a part of and in some ways create … it feels like it’s just beginning, and yet we’ve come a long way since our earliest days when I was just a guy who failed at growing a cucumber in his first garden. The Epic Homestead is a great way to visualize this, filled with plant, avian and aquatic life that, when I first started, would have seemed nearly impossible. That sense of growth and evolution really helps to fuel the drive to keep going. If we’ve come this far, why stop now?

Also, it is realizing our impact on people’s day-to-day lives. You wouldn’t think that watching a YouTube or a TikTok video, or reading an article on harvesting potatoes would have such a dramatic impact on their personal lives from that moment. But we’ve had feedback from people who say our videos helped their mom to keep her spirits up as she battled end-stage cancer or that they’ve connected with their sister who’s now sharing seeds from her own garden. People have this intimate connection to gardening, both interpersonally and on a deeply personal level. While it doesn’t feel like you’re changing lives, you are changing them for the better, and that’s incredibly empowering and inspiring.

TEACHING THE WORLD TO GROW

The gardening industry is ripe for transformation that will not only improve the overall market and customer experience but also improve a person’s experience of gardening as a whole. We’re in a unique position where not only do we teach the world to grow — which, incidentally, is our company’s overarching goal — but we also improve how the world grows things, and that newness excites and inspires me. Our company is positioned to help people garden in a way that’s approachable and manageable for them, and I’m excited about the future.

Everyone has a reason to grow something; they may just not have found it yet. It could be emotional, psychological, nutritional … it could be simply an interest in science or botany, sheer curiosity, whatever. Everyone has a hook that will allow them to grow, and it’s certainly not some sort of magical skill. In the end, remember that growing things is a transformative process.

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Kevin Espiritu

Kevin Espiritu is founder and CEO of Epic Gardening. He has spent over a decade producing educational gardening content across YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and the Epic Gardening podcast and blog. He is a member of GPN’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2021 and can be reached at kevin@epicgardening.com.