For years I have grown ornamental plants and flowers. Some favorites found in our garden are roses that smell like honeysuckle, old-fashioned sweet peas, and the brightly colored ranunculus providing the garden with that pop of color in the spring. One year, I decided to branch out of my garden plot and grow a few herbs and tomatoes. WOW!
The fruit and herbs were bursting with flavor and taste, which increased my hunger for gardening, specifically, edible gardening. I really had no idea of the difference in flavor from edibles picked directly from the garden versus those grown commercially that had been hybridized (for qualities such as the ability to be harvested while still green then gassed to ripen and the ability to be transported without bruising)...produce that looked perfect, but was generally flavorless.
It was this hunger for flavorful food that seeded the transformation of our garden from ornamental to edible. My initial focus was on the usual suspects of summer edibles - tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, peppers, and pumpkins. Then I started incorporating fruits and berries. Oh my, there is nothing like blackberries eaten right from the vine that are still warm from the sun. They taste like berry pie!
I began learning more and more about growing food through different sources, unsuspecting neighbors, farm internships, books, and educational courses and workshops. California’s climate is such that we have the ability to grow year-round, and that is what I aimed for and achieved. A productive year-round edible garden filled with annuals, perennials, integrated pest management, and a lot of love.
I have been a grower now for over 25 years, learning through the school of hard knocks, and ongoing education in Landscape Architecture and Bio-Intensive and Soil Food Web farming courses. They all have a hand in shaping the design principles I use today. The last several years have been spent designing and installing edible gardens at private estates and institutions, combined with farming presentations, how-to workshops on composting, seed sowing, vermaculture, seasonal planting and care techniques in Orange County.
My passion is to work with others to integrate edible gardens into their lifestyles so they, too, can enjoy the most flavorful and nutritious edibles right from their property.
Urban Farm Coach
Farm to Fork Garden Design