Gardening in Waimea: Matilda Tompson produces a bounty of vegetables, herbs and flowers

  • Matilda clears and cleans her beds before her seasonal replanting. (Diana Duff/Special to West Hawaii Today)

  • Matilda often enjoys her own grown herbal tea at the end of a work day in the garden. (Diana Duff/Special to West Hawaii Today)

  • Just a few months after planting, Matilda can enjoy food from her garden. (Matilda Tompson/Special to West Hawaii Today)

  • Matilda’s garden is filled with healthy plants and good food. (Matilda Tompson/Special to West Hawaii Today)

  • Keeping cats out of a garden requires lots of obstacles. (Diana Duff/Special to West Hawaii Today)

  • A light fence seems to be enough to discourage chickens from entering the garden. (Diana Duff/Special to West Hawaii Today)

  • With limited garden space, Matilda decided to plant her leeks in a plastic tub. (Matilda Tompson/Special to West Hawaii Today)

  • Mulching citrus trees keeps down weeds and feeds the soil making a bounteous harvest likely. (Diana Duff/Special to West Hawaii Today)

Matilda Tompson was likely born with a green thumb. As a child, she delighted in visits to her grandparent’s farm in Massachusetts. At home in Delaware, she would scour the woods near her house for pretty flowers, dig up the plant and bring it home. Her dad was growing vegetables like lettuce, green beans and tomatoes. He was not always delighted with the addition of weeds from the woods to his garden. That did not discourage Matilda.