We are proud to introduce you to Darron Jalbert, our Farmer of the Week and owner of Backyard Veggie Garden. They are a full-service garden company specializing in family vegetable and fruit gardens using organic techniques. He is a proud father of two, and as he lovingly says, he’s married to “a great woman and his best friend.” Darron is passionate about teaching people about growing, harvesting, preserving, cooking and perpetuating their own food.
NUMBER OF YEARS URBAN GARDENING:
FAVORITE THINGS TO GROW:
URBAN FARMING LOCATION:
Love your plants!
YOUR OWN GARDENING TIPS AND TRICKS:
I believe average gardeners, regular people, should try to use organic methods and materials as much as possible. It is much harder to kill a plant organically than it is to do it using chemical fertilizers and pesticides, etc.
WHY DID YOU FIRST START GROWING YOUR OWN ORGANIC FOOD?
I’d have to credit my parents for showing me how to grow things organically. My eighth grade science fair project was on organic composting for use as fertilizer.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING TO PREPARE OUT OF THE GARDEN?
Spicy Green Salsa (click here for recipe.)
WHO TAUGHT YOU HOW TO GARDEN (OR HOW DID YOU LEARN)?
I’ve learned from many people throughout my life, but my mother was definitely my foremost teacher.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR BEGINNER GARDENERS?
Don’t be afraid to fail! Believe in yourself, but also believe in the process!
HOW MANY HOURS PER WEEK DO YOU SPEND IN THE GARDEN?
It varies greatly, but in the spring probably 8 per week, in the summer 6, and the fall 4…but I’m guessing…
HOW MANY MINUTES PER DAY?
At least an hour during the peak of spring into summer.
HOW MUCH SPACE ARE YOU USING TO GROW YOUR OWN FOOD (IN SQUARE FEET)?
DO YOU USE RAISED BEDS, CONTAINERS, THE GROUND OR A COMBINATION OF SOME?
A combination of raised beds and containers.
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE IN THE GARDEN?
To maximize productivity throughout the garden. More food per square foot and more time each square foot being used to create food.
WHAT ARE YOU GROWING RIGHT NOW?
Lettuce, potatoes, onions, bok choy.
HOW HAS GROWING YOUR OWN ORGANIC FOOD AFFECTED OR CHANGED YOUR LIFE?
I was raised in a natural food household, but lost my way in my teens and twenties. Having found my way back in my adulthood, it has brought me better health, a feeling of self-sufficiency, and has brought me and my family and friends so much joy and happiness in the sharing of the work and the proceeds.
WHY DO YOU THINK IT´S IMPORTANT THAT PEOPLE GROW THEIR OWN FOOD?
For those same positives I myself have enjoyed from gardening. Better health, sustainability, self-sufficiency, sharing, enjoying, loving and living.
WHAT IS YOUR MOST FAVORITE THING ABOUT GARDENING?
ANY GARDENING “TRADE SECRETS” THAT YOU´D LIKE TO SHARE?
Love and care for the worms, the bees and the soil, for they do the real work of growing your vegetables.
OTHER THOUGHTS OR COMMENTS
I believe that we can accomplish a lot for ourselves, the country, and the world by focusing on how we eat, generate and use energy, and protecting the resources our planet has left.
Visit Darron at www.backyardveggiegarden.com
About the Author:
Carol Carimi Acutt