As the horticulturist for the Giving Grove since 2013, Matt selects the fruit and nut tree varieties, consults with new sites, and advises the over 230 Giving Grove sites, on the best practices for growing fruits and nuts biologically in the Kansas City area. He also is the national horticulturist for The Giving Grove.
Matt has been in the horticulture profession since 1994, but his love for plants and gardening grew from the vegetable gardens of his parents and grandparents. Schooled as a history major, Matt has worked in horticulture in retail, municipal, and public garden capacities. From 2004 to 2013 Matt was with Powell Gardens (Kansas City’s Botanical Garden), first as a Native Plant Landscape Specialist for the Anita B Gorman Conservation Discovery Center, and later as the Horticulturist for The Heartland Harvest Garden, a 12-acre edible landscape featuring over 2000 distinct edible plant varieties; fruits, nuts, berries, vegetables, and herbs. Over the years Matt has written for The Best Times and the Missouri Gardener and has spoken at many Master Gardener gatherings, the Great Plains Growers Conference, Growing Power, The National Green Centre, Grow Native Workshops and more. Matt continues to garden at home with his family. He is always in search of the next Champion tree, and remnant native plant populations around the KC area. By informal count he has planted close to 10,000 trees.