I first met Logan Williams at the Saturday Santa Monica Farmer’s Market with his father, Jimmy Williams, owner of Hayground Organic Gardening. They always have the most phenomenal organic seedlings and it’s the only place I shop when I need seedlings. Not only do they have the best heirloom varieties and interesting choices, but they always have the best urban gardening tricks such as, “don’t cut off the tomato suckers, just let the tomato plant do its thing.” I had the pleasure of meeting Logan at their location in East Los Angeles, a little oasis in the middle of L. As soon as I walked through the gate, I felt relaxed. There’s nothing like being surrounded by gorgeous edibles.
Logan decided to follow in his father’s footsteps a few years ago, making growing organic food his career. He learned how to “backyard farm” as a child, as the tradition of growing food started with his great-grandmother in South Carolina. Growing food has taught him patience and brought peace into his life. “There’s nothing like seeing a tomato plant that I planted from seed three months ago produce an amazing tomato , it’s shocking really.” And when his customers come back after growing some of his seedlings successfully and raving about the incredible taste, he says “you see, I didn’t know I could do it either!” Logan smiled and said, “It is incredibly rewarding.”
He’s seen a real change in his customers over the years, where the customer base used to be mostly women over 50. now, it’s everyone. The trend has begun – people want to grow their own food. Kids will come up and know what a strawberry plant looks like. He says that alone is incredible.
His advice for urban gardeners? “Failure is the best teacher! Don’t give up. Everybody messes up in the beginning, but once you get tiny successes, then you’re hooked!”
Their company, Hayground Organic Gardening specializes in organic seedlings as well as designing personal urban farms in raised beds. You can reach Jimmy or Logan at 323.216.0379.
Check out the book From Seed to Skillet, it’s an incredible book that will get any beginner inspired to grow their own food.