The Home Growers Circle: Real people with a passion to grow real food

Ethel & Bill Robert Charmaine & Brian Brandon Nancy Lewis & Tara Malika & Donny Andy & Susanna Craig & Gary Warren & Lovejoy

Andy & Susanna / North Hollywood

Last July my wife Susanna and I bought our first house. For the last several years we have always grown tomatoes in containers. However, no with a yard of our own, we were excited to go a little bigger with our garden. Also, with the water shortages and restrictions in LA, we wanted to get rid of all of our grass in the front yard because it felt so wasteful.

So, this January we started ripping out all of the grass (most of it was dead anyway from not watering it) and built two 12' by 4' raised beds. By late February we had finished constructing the beds, and begun growing many plants (almost exclusively from seed). We now have about 30 tomato plants, 2 zucchini plants, 4 yellow squash plants, several peppers, some lettuces, onion, garlic, and cauliflower growing and producing vegetables.

This past month the tomatoes and zucchini/squash have really taken off. It seems like every day we are harvesting a few pounds worth of each, and it would be wonderful if there was a way for us to contribute some of the vegetables we don't already consume on our own to local restaurants.

For many of these plants it is the first time we've grown them, and we are still learning a ton as we go. We had some difficulties with our carrots and radishes that we started in March and haven't tried them again since it is now probably too warm. We really love the garden though, and hopefully each season we will become more proficient and our yields will increase.

We've been actively composting in our backyard with a large traditional composter and a worm bin for vermicompost. Of course, everything we've done is organic and most of the varieties we've chosen are heirloom. We would really cherish the opportunity to learn more, and share that learning with others in the community. In fact, one of the things we love best about having the vegetable garden in our front yard, is that it lets our neighbors see what we're growing and hopefully encourages them to try some urban farming as well.

Ways to support
urban farming
in Los Angeles

Community partners have stepped forward with ways you can support local growers:

We know how much everyone in this city loves the movies. Have you seen this one? The Garden is an Academy Award nominated documentary that tells the story of urban farmers who struggle against land developers to keep their community farm in South Central Los Angeles alive. This film offers a revealing look at the challenges of urban farming in a megacity once known for its agricultural output. The director of the film, Scott Hamilton Kennedy, is a Silver Lake resident and he has offered to not only sell DVDs of the film at a 10% discount, but also grant 10% of proceeds to support the certification fees of future participants of the Home Growers Circle. Buy a DVD and help us build support for an eleventh urban microfarmer. Maybe we'll have to ask one of the microfarmers to raise some corn so that we can make some home-grown movie popcorn. Click here to order a DVD and support the Home Growers Circle. Remember to use promotional code FORAGE.