Jean Dakin was born and raised in Parson which is also the town where she met Gord who would become her husband.
The couple moved to Golden five years ago after spending most of their lives together in the small town.
When they were first together they were teachers, then Gord changed his career and started working in the logging industry.
Over the years, Jean taught all levels of school, but now she enjoys teaching people about seeds.
“I grew up on a farm and both Gord and I are dedicated to growing,” she said.
Gord explained they have three gardens they look after in Golden.
“Part of the reason we came to Golden was to get away from the hard work of the farm,” he said. “However, we had a bunch of heritage seeds that we wanted to keep going, so we took a look at a place to plant seeds in town.”
After a short search they found someone who wasn’t using their garden and got a second garden started.
“I wasn’t ready to give either one of them up so then we had them both. Then our neighbour next door left and rented their house to someone who did not have any interest in having a garden. They have a nice garden over there and we had a project we wanted to do,” he said.
The couple used the third garden to plant bean seeds as a part of the sustainable Golden project.
“Golden is difficult to grow in even though people do not believe that,” Jean said.
After Jean broke her leg, she received help from six friends who came over to give her a hand in keep the gardens running well.
As for her time growing up in Parson, Jean has many fond memories.
“We were happy, I had seven brothers and a sister. My dad was a good farmer. He was knowledgeable and self sufficient.”
Gord was born in Cranbrook and raised in Kimberley.
He moved to Parson to work with his cousin who had a contact with the Cranbrook sawmill.
“They were using a two-man saw, and me being an 18-year-old and not knowing anything, I worked the other end of the saw for him,” he said.
Gord got to know one of Jean’s brothers through events happening in town. It did not take long before he noticed Jean. Gord explained he did not have much luck the first time he invited Jean out.
“My cousin had a girlfriend in Parson and they decided they were going to see a movie in Golden. Her mother said they could not go unless there were four people. He talked me into getting a partner and Jean’s name came up,” he said. “I went down and knocked on the door. Her mother answered and I proposed this little get-together.”
Gord did not know that Jean was hiding behind the door during the conversation with her mother.
“I looked at the kitchen at the huge table and all I could see was her father’s feet sticking up on the table and a newspaper. When her mother looked for an answer from the table all he said was ‘Nope’ and the door closed.”
It was later at a turkey shoot that he met her dad and he ended up getting invited to dinner.
“He infiltrated the family,” Jean said smiling.
Certain changes stand out to the couple about what life is like these days, compared to the past.
“There are so many things. We didn’t have garbage. We used everything. There was no plastic and anything that was left over went to the animals,” Jean said.
“You wouldn’t have gotten rich going to the dumps in those days. There was nothing there. Maybe a few tins that got rusty and a few pots and pans that wore out,” Gord said.
Jean added that she finds it sad how many people in Golden no longer have gardens these days.
“People don’t remember what it was like having a garden and I find that a sad thing. You change the whole look of the mountains to put a highway through and after a while children won’t know what it used to be like. When people here could grow something and this is my worry about the future of sustainability,” she said.