[portfolio_slideshow]Number of Years Urban Gardening: 10
Favorite Thing To Grow: In winter, greens like Swiss chard, Arugula, Kale, etc. and in the summer heirloom tomatoes and herbs galore
Favorite Garden Recipes: Organic Arugula Radicchio Salad, Oven-Dried Organic Cherry Tomatoes and Organic Heirloom Tomato and Red Ruffle Basil Salad
Urban Farming Location: Los Angeles, CA
Gardening Advice: Just do it! Don’t worry about planning, feel it out
Meet Laura and John Klein, close friends of mine and partly responsible for inspiring me to grow my own food. Laura founded the fantastic website, www.organicauthority.com several years ago and is a gourmet cook. John is a computer programmer and a reiki master. When you stroll through their front and back yards, there are pots and containers everywhere as well as raised beds overflowing with delicious smelling herbs and vegetables. It’s a mini-adventure walking around and investigating each pot. They both growing a garden and eating delicious fresh food. They converted their entire front and back yard to an urban farm when they moved into their house 10 years ago.
By growing food everywhere, they not only save water (by not having to water grass), but they have the benefit of growing their own organic veggies and herbs. One of their favorites is artichoke, especially because it’s drought tolerant. “It makes us appreciate our food even more and it’s inspiring to grow your own tomatoes or artichokes and know that you don’t have to wonder if they’ve been sprayed with pesticides or other chemicals,” Laura explains. John finds it to be a great meditative exercise and it’s his favorite way to start the day. Laura loves to grow vegetables and herbs that tend to be more expensive in the stores, making her harvest even sweeter.
Time-wise, John likes to check out the garden in the early morning between 5 – 45 minutes depending on the growing cycle, starting his day out relaxed and grounded. Usually they average 5 – 10 minutes a day caring for their garden. They installed a drip-irrigation system to help things stay alive when they are really busy with life.
Laura and John have over 8 varieties of basil, 10 types of herbs like lemongrass, pineapple sage (great for hummingbirds and good to cook with fish), lovage (like celery and parsley combined) just to name a few, 5 fruit trees and at least 10 – 15 different vegetables depending on the season. In one of their raised bed sections, approximately 35 square feet, they have 20 vegetable plants – that shows just how efficient container gardening can be. With all of this vegetable gardening, they just want to plant more. Their yard is the quintessential urban farm.
Their advice to beginner gardeners? Just get started. Once you get going, it’s addictive. The more you plant, the more you want to cook with what you’ve grown.