English at school, gardening at home


Julie Goler’s home garden.


Marguerite Alberts, Staff Writer

Reader, teacher, raconteur, literate. All of these words are used to describe most English teachers and therefore aptly describe Sophomore Honors English teacher Julie Goler.  However, anyone who takes a good five minutes to talk to her, will quickly be informed of her home-grown garden filled with kale, leeks, onions, collards, swiss chard, cucumbers, peppers, eggplant, jalapenos, and many different types of herbs.

“I have been gardening for at least 12 years, and I started with roses. After I had a successful summer with a couple of tomatoes, I have started a larger garden,” Goler said.

Goler's worm composter. She uses this one the most.

A key ingredient to a beautiful garden is the soil.  In order to have good soil, serious gardeners use composters instead of buying fertilizer at a store and spending extra money, according to Goler. Compost is an organic, home-made type of fertilizer.

“I really believe that composting is important. Everything that I used to throw out now goes into two composters: a worm composter and a rotating composter,” Goler said.

All the vegetation in Goler’s garden is grown organically. Food that is grown organically is grown without the use of pesticides and chemically induced fertilizers. Making her own compost helps to ensure that Goler’s garden stays organic.

In order to help her own garden, Goler also looks at other gardens. She likes to see other gardeners who also use organic methods. While traveling, one of her favorite things to do is to visit gardens.

“Whenever I travel now, I make sure to go see interesting gardens,” Goler said.

Not only is gardening one of Goler’s many hobbies,gardening is also a way for Goler to spend time with her nephews and nieces.

Goler's nieces like to help her garden.

Besides teaching and gardening, Goler is a facilitator of book groups. She facilitates book groups both outside of school as well as for the teachers during lunch.

Facilitating book groups allows Goler to see some really beautiful gardens. Some of the best gardens she has ever seen were on “amazing properties with really fancy organic gardens.”

Last year Goler put together the Hero project surrounding the book “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand. She is conducting it again this year on the book “Wingshooters” by Nina Revoyr. Anyone can read the books and attend the assembly which is coming up in the next couple of months. If you need a copy of “Wingshooters,” Goler sells them for $11.