Gene Black

Gardener, Beekeeper, IT Infrastructure and Network Engineer

I have over 25 years of experience in the IT industry providing expertise in programming, storage, systems, and other facets of IT, though my focus has been in networking. My broad experience has allowed me to tackle issues involving multiple disciplines and provide successful solutions. I have designed networks for educational institutions, local governments, law enforcement, telecoms, ISPs, and large international enterprises.

I love the field of IT because it's constantly changing and there are always new things to learn.

As a child, I spent a lot of time working in the family garden, helping on my grandparent's farm, or helping on the farms of neighbors. Farming was hard work and helped me decide at an early age that I wanted to gain an education that would open other doors for me.

As an adult, I encountered farming again, but this time as an engineer. I recognized it not simply as hard work, but as a challenge - an opportunity to build a better mousetrap as I puzzled out one of the greatest mysteries our planet has to offer - Nature. That was over 10 years ago.

Heirloom vegetables were one of the wonderful early discoveries in home gardening for me - realizing there were far more options to what I could grow than what was available in the grocery store, or sold as seedlings at various garden stores. Heirloom vegetables opened up a whole new world of food and taste for me I had no idea existed. Once discovered, I set out with the intent to grow as many as possible to discover what I liked the best. My plan is that should I ever run out of new varieties, I will try breeding better varieties from the wonderful ones I have already discovered.

I still have much to learn and many challenges left to solve (where would the fun be if I didn't?) but I've learned much and found numerous ways to make the home gardening experience easier and more successful. My wife shakes her head at every new wild idea I have, but smiles as well realizing that behind every one of my forthcoming failures there will eventually be a success. A solution. A better mousetrap.

I love teaching and sharing with others the things that I've learned. It's never enough for me to teach how to do something, I always feel compelled to teach the "Why?" as well. What's the point of doing something if you don't know why you're doing it? If you know why you're doing something, then you can also recognize opportunities to improve it.

I look forward to seeing you in my courses so I can share with you the things I've learned and help you to enjoy some of the same successes I've enjoyed.

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