A personal note.
I never thought of myself as a gardener. Gardening only became a love of mine after moving to California. Everything grows here! Even in San Francisco, I would get a pretty good season of tomatoes off of one plant on a balcony. I fell in love with all the community garden spaces hidden throughout the city and volunteered at a few of them in my own neighborhood in Hayes Valley. I moved to Mountain View two years ago and can't believe that I can grow food year round. The climate is perfect.
So I have been trying all sorts of different edibles over the past couple of years at first on my mostly shaded balcony in an apartment and now in any sunny spot I have in the tiny backyard of our rental. Some plants thrive, some fail, but I am definitely hooked. There is something incredibly powerful about the feeling of a dinner made from produce grown at home. Then there is my young daughter and the feeling it gives me when she picks a ripe strawberry and proudly shows it to me as she pops it into her mouth. I think of all the different vegetables she is more willing to try when she picks it off the plant rather than on her dinner plate. Finally, I have always been very interested in herbs and their culinary, therapeutic and cosmetic uses. I feel like the more I discover and explore about gardening, the more there is to learn, and as a researcher by profession, I do enjoy the trial and error nature that is gardening.