|Lewis in the garden. Santa Monica, Presidents' Day 2011. Says John: "Lewis was a delight to be with; we tasted all sorts of delicious fruits." Photo by John D. Ivanko / ecopreneuring.biz.|
It was about 9 a.m. on a Monday morning. As it was Presidents' Day and the financial markets were closed, I was feeling relaxed and recharging my game. The phone rang. The man on the other end of the line introduced himself as John Ivanko. He, sounding non-accented in an apologetic and deferential way, was sorry to inconvenience me, he explained. He was visiting Los Angeles from Browntown, Wisconsin, with his wife, Lisa Kivirist and their nine-year-old son, Liam, who is home-schooled. Could they stop by for a visit?
Turns out they are major players in a movement known as ecopreneuring
. They also run a sustainable bed-and-breakfast
and grow their own organic food in the backyard. Their motto is something like: Back to the garden, to put soul and people before profits.
As people who derive meaning and joy from the garden, Tara and I can relate. I found out my unexpected visitors from the Midwest had read about our locavore adventures from our blog on the Forage website. Thought it had been difficult to find me, they came looking determined to know more.
They are shorter season growers, starting later in May to November-ish, planting mostly tubulars, with a more limited variety. Crazy about the variety I get from the Santa Monica weather, they stayed 90 minutes for the grand tour. I fed them guavas -- Mexican pink, Hawaiian, yet they liked the luscious South African best.
Long Wisconsin winters had made John impervious to cold. He took photos for a magazine called Hobby Farms
, laying on the ground in his shorts, seeking outbreaks of color. He shot the Mysterioso Delicioso, oranges, and apricot blossoms. Ladders were used to get the right angles. Photos include a pecan tree which I have positioned to camouflage a telephone pole. John wanted wires to show so that my garden should not be mistaken for the country. Liam helped his father. He thought the fisheye lens might be best for certain shots.
Lewis Perkins lives in Santa Monica, nestled in a semi-tropical paradise, growing exotic edibles in Southern California. When not working with Tara in the garden, Lewis is a Certified Financial Planning Professional® spending time with clients as a real estate, insurance, and securities broker. His websites are InspiringProperties.net and ComprehensiveFinancial.net.