January 20, 2009

Johnny Jump Ups

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(Updated)

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We consulted with Marta Teegen, who owns a business called HOMEGROWN. I've attempted many gardens over the years: all clunky, gutter-ball vegetable plots every time. Hit and miss. Now, Marta is our garden guru. Raised beds; legendary compost; a bubbler irrigation system and a complex, dense and mutually reinforcing plant schedule makes for us, a best garden ever.

Marta introduced us to Lora Hall of Full Circle Gardening, a tree specialist. Lora helped us select a small orchard of dwarf fruit trees: an avocado and a Meyer lemon on the first terrace, a Gala apple; a peach, an apricot and a pomegranite on the second and on the bottom terrace, a blood orange and a lime. Fruiting will happen on a schedule one after the other in a pageant, the trees are arranged for the effect of massing and color... a compact, high performance orchard.

The LA Weekly describes Marta thusly:

Teegen, who owns a company called Homegrown Los Angeles, is basically in the business of panicking your neighbors by showing you how to turn your front lawn into a vegetable garden.

Further down:
Teegen lovingly cups a frilly wisp of green that will ripen into slender young carrots in the next few months.

?Mmm-hmm!? she says, quite predatorily. Her eyes widen.

She follows the French bio-intensive method of gardening, which means that the model is nature ? nothing is in tidy rows, and plants compete with each other in very tight spaces. This produces big yields in small areas with minimum water. Gardening is done in raised beds, never in the existing, clay-dense Los Angeles soil ? you could, she says, but it would give the slow-food movement a whole new meaning, and everything is ?companion planted.? Brussels sprouts, for instance, help cilantro to grow.

?Am I going to be able to get food out of this?? city people ask her, skeptically eyeing their front lawns.

?Absolutely.?

(I'm sporting HOMEGROWN in the colophon, I think it's great when people are going for it balls out.)

Posted by Dennis at January 20, 2009 5:16 PM

1 Comment

Wow what a wonderful garden you are creating. Once you done the arrangement, kindly share some picture with us.

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