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Petra Brandt
Winner of the 2023 Strawberry Sprout Grant


Petra is a homemaker in Sykesville, MD living with her husband of 23 years and their 2 daughters. She is also the caretaker of her oldest daughter, who is wheelchair bound due to a rare neurological disorder. Last year, Petra and her husband took the leap and started a quarter of an acre to grow cut flowers on. She has since prepared seven 100 foot flower beds and a soon to be completed deer fence around the field. 

In the future, she plans to sell wholesale to florists as well as sell Funds will help build her business by helping purchase new equipment, creating a website, and much more! to and engage the community by using a pop-up stand, attend Farmer's Markets, and possibly arrange bouquet workshops. The business will hopefully be a great way to engage both of their daughters. 

Funds will help build her business by helping purchase new equipment, creating a website, and much more! 

Winner of the 2022 Strawberry Sprout Grant

Margaret Goolsby .jpg

 A veteran and Montgomery County, MD resident, Margaret's involvement in horticulture began at the age of 5 in her family garden growing concord grapes, tomatoes, beets, beans, and peas. Her father taught her about pollination, composting, direct seeding, and how to harvest a crop. This grew into a life long passion and in 2015, she earned a certificate in ecological horticulture from the Center of Ecological Agriculture and Sustainable Food Systems at the University of California in Santa Cruz.  After receiving her B.S. in Agricultural and Resource Economics from The University of Maryland, travelled to Tanzania and South Africa where she grew vegetable peanuts with women farmers and assisted in the cooperative movement.  

Currently she is working as a seasonal gardener at Brookside Gardens and is establishing her own landscaping business, Hyacinth Landscaping. The name Hyacinth was inspired by her favorite proverb,

"If I had but 2 loaves of bread, I'd sell one and buy hyacinths, for they would feed my soul."

From Margaret on how horticulture inspires her, "Planting seeds means believing in a future. It reminds me that the world is beautiful and if I slow down enough, I will see and enjoy it. It inspires me to appreciate the uniqueness that exist in nature and on our planet."

She will use the grant funds to further her education in sustainability and landscape design by taking classes at Montgomery College. 

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