Farmer of the Week: Christy Wilhelmi of Gardenerd

by on February 5, 2012

Number of Years Urban Gardening: 18
Favorite Thing To Grow: Strawberries and kale
Urban Farming Location: Los Angeles, CA
Gardening Advice: Start small and don’t be afraid of failures.

The average vegetable travels 1500 miles before it gets to the dinner table, but not in Christy Wilhelmi’s case, founder of and vegetable gardener extraordinaire. Christy grows 80% of the produce that she and her husband consume ALL year round in a 15×17 foot space! I first met Christy and the Santa Monica Good Food Festival where she was teaching a workshop on square foot gardening. Christy is incredibly articulate when it comes to gardening and she’s full of fantastic tips and tricks. Her urban farm is one that makes me green with vegetable envy.

Christy grew up in Simi Valley. As a child, her parents had a small veggie plot. The only way she would get her “peas and carrots” is if they grew in the garden, very much to her mother’s relief. As an adult, she became vegetarian and began to learn about our food system – ripe with GMO’s, pesticides, chemicals and preservatives. Christy realized that she wanted to have more control over her food source. Thus, she began to grow her own organic food on tiny balconies in containers. And that’s when her addiction to gardening set in.

She adheres to the square foot gardening and other bio-intensive growing methods. One of her favorite things to grow are lettuces, eight varieties that is for a total of sixteen heads which feeds herself and her husband for three months daily. Christy especially likes to experiment with varieties that she can’t get in the grocery store.

Growing her own food has changed her life, as it not only keeps her connected to nature, but she finds it is a meditative practice. “I get a lot of problems solved while I’m weeding, “ she said with a smile. She also loves to cook, which is continually inspired by what’s growing in her garden. For Christy, not only is urban farming rewarding by eating what she sows, but it’s quite wonderful to share it with others.

Visit Christy at

Carol Carimi Acutt

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