It’s easy to tell Kellye Jeansonne leads a healthy lifestyle just by looking at her. She’s never without a smile on her face or in her eyes, and she’s always glowing, peaceful, and positive. And there’s a big reason for that. In 2009, Jeansonne’s health crashed amid an overload of stress, and she was led to redirect her perspective on how to live a healthy life and best take care of herself. While her family and her faith keep her going, it’s her gardening and coaching others that sustain her.
Jeansonne is the owner of Wild Child Kitchen Gardens, where she teaches busy women in the South to grow gorgeous food in any space. If you’ve found yourself wanting to garden but don’t know where to start, Wild Child Kitchen Gardens is your answer.
After befriending an elderly neighbor in 2005 who was a gardener, Kellye became inspired and learned all she could about growing and preserving her own food. Four years later when her health plummeted, she put all she learned to use to heal herself.
“Being responsible for your own food is such an honor,” she says. “It is a responsibility that we don’t think about but nonetheless is ours. When your health crashes and the way back is rest and food, you learn a lot.”
A native and resident of South Louisiana, Jeansonne started Wild Child Kitchen Gardens in 2020 with just eight women. She figured if anyone wanted to garden without all the confusion and frustration, she could help because she’d done everything at least twice.
“Gardening … and coaching others … [are] my passion and joy. The garden is a great teacher.”
Today, Wild Child consists of 200 “busy women gardeners” in eight different states. For women looking to slow your pace—green thumb or not, gardening with Kellye as your guide is the place to start.
“Women just want to slow down … [and] enjoy simple things. … Our world gets so busy, and we don’t know how to put the brakes on. We weren’t taught. Something as simple as gardening is so foreign to us. We have to do better with the next generation … and bring back these lost skills, [like growing our own food],” she says.
New gardeners begin in the Kitchen Garden Academy, where Kellye guarantees you’ll become a gardener in just eight weeks. In addition to a host of class offerings, there’s also The Wild Child Kitchen Gardening podcast, where she shares tips and tricks on easy-to-grow gardens—the wild child way.
Her next class offering is the very popular Success with Seeds, which starts Jan. 7, 2024, and is a free eight-week program for anyone wanting to grow their vegetable gardens by seed instead of getting plants from a nursery. To listen to her podcast, click here.
“I coach [all kinds] of women … and I walk you through every single step,” Jeansonne says. “We all meet in the garden; that is where the healing is found.”