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Farmer of the Week: Teague Weybright

by on February 5, 2013

 

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I’m happy to introduce Teague Weybright to the UrbanFig community.  Teague is a master gardener who dedicates much of his time to the LA community as the board president of the Los Angeles Community Garden Council.  He manages several school gardens in the area.  Parents ask him everyday how to start their own food garden because their kids now want one at home. Talk about making positive change!  Teague has a lovely wife and two kids who all love to garden.

NUMBER OF YEARS URBAN GARDENING:
13

FAVORITE THINGS TO GROW:
Tomatoes, greens and cucumbers.

URBAN FARMING LOCATION:
Los Angeles, California

GARDENING ADVICE:
Get your kids in the garden.

YOUR OWN GARDENING TIPS AND TRICKS:
Grow what you like and know you’ll eat. Do some canning and pickling of your produce.

WHY DID YOU FIRST START GROWING YOUR OWN ORGANIC FOOD?
About 12 years ago when my wife and I got our first community garden plot.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING TO PREPARE OUT OF THE GARDEN?
My favorite thing to make out of our garden are “Lower East Side Full Sour Dills”. (Click here for recipe)

WHO TAUGHT YOU HOW TO GARDEN (OR HOW DID YOU LEARN)?
I would say I learned some from my grandmother and my mother. However I quickly learned that I knew less than I expected. My wife has taught me a lot about gardening, and I’ve also been influenced heavily by Al Renner.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR BEGINNER GARDENERS?
Read your seed packets and follow them. Do some research on seasonal plants so you aren’t wasting your time, and ask a lot of questions about others that are doing gardening. Stick with it and expect both successes and failures.

HOW MANY HOURS PER WEEK DO YOU SPEND IN THE GARDEN?
15-20, but that includes many gardens.

HOW MANY MINUTES PER DAY?
Sometimes I’m in a garden for 6 hours, sometimes not at all.

HOW MUCH SPACE ARE YOU USING TO GROW YOUR OWN FOOD (IN SQUARE FEET)?
We have a garden plot that is 225 sq. ft. But between my wife and I, we oversee school gardens that give us an additional 1,000 sq ft from which we glean some produce.

DO YOU USE RAISED BEDS, CONTAINERS, THE GROUND OR A COMBINATION OF SOME?
Combination of everything. Raised planters at school, ground at our community garden, and some small planters on our patio.

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE IN THE GARDEN?
Staying on it year round and having it be productive. We never get a break in Southern California, which is a blessing most of the time.

WHAT ARE YOU GROWING RIGHT NOW?
This is going to be a long list. Blueberries, lemon grass, various herbs such as cilantro, mint, oregano, dill and thyme, beets, carrots, broccoli, cabbage, onions, radishes, snap peas, kohlrabi, lettuce, leeks, kale, mustard, broccoli raab, swiss chard, bok choi, sorrel, that might be it.

HOW HAS GROWING YOUR OWN ORGANIC FOOD AFFECTED OR CHANGED YOUR LIFE?
We’ve always eaten healthy, it has surprised me how much money we’re able to save, and of course, our two daughters will eat anything and everything fresh from the garden. I often have to stop them from “Grazing” at the school garden.

WHY DO YOU THINK IT´S IMPORTANT THAT PEOPLE GROW THEIR OWN FOOD?
It provides a connection to your food. It also contributes to environmental stewardship by growing food close to us so it isn’t shipped from thousands of miles. Growing your own food puts you in touch with seasonal rotations, calms you down, teaches about habitat, and is just a great opportunity for city folks to commune with a bit of nature.

WHAT IS YOUR MOST FAVORITE THING ABOUT GARDENING?
Watching kids try something new and then hearing back from their parents that they are starting gardens at their own homes.

ANY GARDENING “TRADE SECRETS” THAT YOU´D LIKE TO SHARE?
Compost compost compost.

About the Author:
Carol Carimi Acutt

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