Dreaming of being more sustainable, growing your own fruits and veggies and realizing that urban garden dream? Jeanne and Ken can help you with that. If you’re like me, you have a few veggies, herbs and fruit trees scattered around your yard. Or maybe you are starting a garden from scratch but don’t really know how to begin. Well, the Berry Urban Farm can help you with that.
For Jeanne and Ken, the Berry Farm started with the purchase of their property and the seven guava trees that came with it… and apple, lemon and oranges as well. Jeanne added on a small vegetable and medicinal garden. Thrirty-two fruit trees and 50-75 other edibiles later, the garden now covers 90% of their yard, with just enough room for their chicken coops, compost piles and room to teach. And don’t think for a minute they have acres to work with… amazingly, this is all in their 2500 sq. foot backyard, a fairly typical size lot.
The Berry’s recently gave me a tour of the garden, explaining what some not so obvious plants where, running their hands along a bolted beet plant and showing me the handful of seeds it produced… I learned more in the hour I was there then I had accumulated on my own over the years.
One of the things I love about Jeanne and Ken’s garden and teaching style is their obvious connection to the Earth and how nothing goes to waste in their garden. If dandelions poke up in their well mulched soil, they don’t pull it. Dandelion greens and flowers are edibles and go in their salads. There really isn’t much they consider a weed around here.
They also touched on how to accept the drought conditions Los Angles is experiencing instead of trying to fight against it, composting, and using clover as natural nitrogen amenders for the soil. They also taught me about some beneficials they have in the garden, like lavender, that are strictly there to attract pollinators like butterflies, hummingbirds and bees.
The Berry Urban Farm hosts two seasonal courses every year, and their spring series starts this Sunday. You could become a certified UC Victory Gardener by attending their four classes and all the while learning how to live more sustainably with your own backyard garden!
While their fall session covers soil amending, soil prep and winter gardens (think root vegetables, lettuce, cabbage, etc…), their spring class will touch on choosing the best seasonal plants, mapping sunlight, establishing your garden space, container gardening, pests in the garden, seed starting and transplanting and so much more.
The next session of urban farming gardening classes start April 6, so make sure to contact Jeanne at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible. The series of classes is only $75 for all four! (Individual classes available as well.) And if you’re lucky, you’ll get to take home some Meyer lemons from their very abundant trees!
And if you need some seedlings to get you started, make sure to visit Two Dog Organic Nursery in LA.