Shirley Barriger was a co-tour manager with her husband Russ on the final leg of the Wake Up and Walk® Tour. We realized Shirley had a green thumb as she raised tomatoes, cucumbers and squash in buckets she toted from campground to campground. We asked her to write a column for us on gardening.
Shirley was raised on a small farm in the “Thumb of Michigan” (l00 miles north of Detroit). As a young child she helped her father with the gardening. She learned about canning and freezing vegetables and fruits while helping her mom. After her father died when she was 14 yrs old, she took on more responsibilities on the farm helping her older brother with the farm work. In 1966 she married a farmer and continued gardening over the years, providing vegetables for their five children. Four of them are married with children and one still resides on the family farm. They have eight grandchildren and try to teach them the benefits of gardening. Shirley also enjoys flower gardening, crafts, sewing, traveling, and her grandchildren.