April 3, 2020
Plants will always be a part of life for Tom Temming
“All my life I have been around livestock and growing plants and watching the life cycle of the seasons,” Temming explained. “My parents plant garden beds and I always enjoyed helping out weeding and cleaning things up.”
As he got older, Temming followed his brother and sister along to work at Klomps Garden Centre just outside of Stratford in St. Paul Centre, where he fell in love with the plants and excelled at customer service.
“It was my first job, and the more I got into it, the more I realized how much I was enjoying it,” Temming said. “I was excited to go to work, which I know wasn’t always the case of some of my friends with their part time jobs. I would be watching the clock at school, excited to go to work.”
In his grade 12 year, Temming landed a co-op placement with Landscape Ontario member Touch of Dutch Landscaping in Stratford. Once again, Temming thrived, and he was offered a summer job after the semester was completed.
“It was an awesome experience,” Temming said, of his time working in maintenance and installations. “I enjoyed learning a whole new skill set, working with new equipment and tools, and getting to make an impact on the customer’s landscapes.”
Next, Temming put his sights toward the horticulture technician program at Niagara College. To help him on his path, Temming was awarded an Ontario Horticultural Trades Foundation Scholarship.
“The scholarship meant a lot to me,” Temming said. “It was incredible to think that there are people out there who donate money and their time to help me pursue my dream. It really made me feel valued and believed in. I can’t thank the Foundation enough for their support.”
Temming is currently in his second semester of the two-year program. His favourite course so far has been plant identification, because it’s a skill “you can always improve and you can take it with you everywhere in horticulture.”
Going forward, Temming is interested in learning more about native plants, as well as food production.
“I was fortunate to live on a farm where we grew food from seed to plant to table, and I believe eating healthy, fresh food is very important.”
For more information on landscape and horticulture scholarships, visit the Ontario Horticultural Trades Foundation website at OHTF.ca.