I hid in the black raspberry brambles where nobody but me dared to tread and I hung out between rows of pea pods picking them all before any ever made it to the dinner table 😉 I thought my mom was a hippie growing most of our vegetables, but my mom later told me that we were just on a VERY tight budget.
When I went off to college to study Mechanical Engineering and Architecture, cafeteria food was shockingly bad for someone who loves lots of fresh vegetables. But I was too busy studying to think much of it.
Fast forward ten years with two degrees under my belt and multiple jobs in the automotive industry and in architecture, I was eating whatever was convenient.
One day, I had a moment of clarity:
I was completely disconnected from my food.
The groceries I bought tasted dead to me. The carrots just didn’t taste very carrot-y for lack of better description. Had I just imagined how good fresh vegetables were when I was a kid? Was I glamorizing my childhood?
I also felt disconnected from my community, like I was a tourist in my own life. I didn’t know any of my neighbors. I assume they were doing what I was doing: running errands and collapsing in front of the TV after a long day at work and/or a long commute home.
I felt like I was just watching life pass me by. I felt like my health was diminishing as I was getting older and I was losing my vibrancy.
Most of all, I missed the feel of the Earth on my bare feet I had felt as a young child. (My poor mom never could keep shoes on my feet!)
Then, I ate the most mind-blowingly, carrot-y carrot I had ever eaten! I was hooked.
I knew I had to start growing vegetables and herbs if I was going to feel whole and connected again.
But I was in Brooklyn, in a tiny apartment, with no yard.
So I started asking shoppers at the local farmer’s market if they had a yard I could borrow to grow food for us and for their neighbors… and it worked!
A couple weeks later, A Brooklyn family was generous enough to invite me into their house and to take over every square inch of their backyard.
I thought the hard part was over… finding space to grow food in Brooklyn, but there was a new set of challenges. Now I had to actually grow the food!
I had to make a lot of tough decisions. Was I gardening in-ground, containers or raised beds? How do I KNOW the soil is fertile? Which varieties should I grow? And have you ever noticed that the directions on the back of seed packets seem to be in a foreign language?
And during the first season, I found myself wandering around the garden wondering what I could do better. Every week there was a new pest or disease and I felt like I was doing everything wrong.
I felt like there was space to grow more and I was somehow behind the curve all the time. I forgot to plant more seeds and then didn’t grow as much as I wanted. There was so much empty space that a ton of weeds grew!
I spent hours researching and experimenting trying to figure it all out on my own… so many people grow food, it didn’t seem like something I should need help with.
I was an engineer and an architect and my ego was telling me I could tinker my way to success.
Then, one day everything changed.
I started hanging out with a couple talented organic farmers. They heard what I was doing and wanted to be a part of the project.
These farmers showed me I was working WAY too hard and worrying WAY too much.
What a relief! Using their philosophy, I was growing more than double the food with ease.
Slowly, I created this garden system that produces 40-50 pounds of produce weekly on 500 square feet of space. And I was doing all this in under 2 hours each week.
Phew! Things started to get so much easier. And everyone was enjoying literally tons of fresh, delicious food!
It worked incredibly well… and within a few years I was growing so much food with a team of youth and adult growers that we were nourishing entire communities and getting hundreds of people outside, connecting with the earth and each other.
And I found my joy – helping youth and adults discover how to grow their own food and nourish their communities. Soon my students were growing their own food… beyond what I even imagined.
Chris (age 16) started his own garden from seeds he saved from the farm. Stephanie grew all her winter greens inside. And Sarah went on to start a garden with her kindergarten class.
Crazy enough – through the work of my students, thousands of people were enjoying fresh-picked vegetables grown right in their own community.
I was doing what I loved AND making a huge positive impact on the health and well-being of my fellow gardeners. I felt a profound satisfaction.
But here’s the thing: my journey could be your path too.
I’m just a few years ahead of you.
It wasn’t long ago that I was just starting out… unsure if I could find growing space in Brooklyn. But I was desperate for a change, and I just kept taking baby steps – putting one foot in front of the other.
And I gradually prioritized what was important in my life… growing delicious, organic, nutrient-dense food that nourishes my mind, body and soul and my loved ones, too.
You don’t have to take over the whole neighborhood with gardens like I did… all you need is a small garden to feed you and your loved ones. Even just a few containers will get you started!
Regardless of how big your garden is… or even if you don’t have a garden yet and need tips for starting one, I want YOU to experience the same things I did.
It’s my mission to help support one million new growers create successful vegetable and herb gardens. And it’s my passion to remove any obstacles that stand in your way so that you have the opportunity to wake up, step into your garden, and harvest organic breakfast greens or mint for your morning tea.
I want you to know that you have created a lifetime of healthy habits for you and your loved ones with garden-fresh food.
I can help you shortcut all the learning I did and fast track your garden success.
I look forward to seeing photos of your overflowing garden, you holding up your prized tomatoes, or your specialty greens you can’t find at any grocery store.
If you want to experience the garden freedom of having food security, a yard full of inexpensive organic vegetables, a homegrown health plan for you and your loved ones.
You can do this.
I know, because I did it.
I can show you how… the easy way.
Let’s do this!
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