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

Lewis & Tara / Santa Monica

May garden update


Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 8:30AM

Intermittent sunny spring days are mixed with an early grey May. The Pakistani mulberry droops are plentiful and ripening sequentially, providing tasty daily treats. The bearded irises and the amaryllis add inspirational color to the greenery.

As you spring clean your garden, remember a few safety tips. Clip out the dead branches in the guavas. Also pull the dead stringy leaves and vines from the chayote. Perhaps the most pernicious are the welt moldy leaves, forgotten growth and sediment lingering between and within the pretty cacti. Be sure to wear a mask and goggles, if you are wise. I should've taken my own advice, as I'm now gargling with a good scotch, when I'm not sucking on garlic to battle the bacteria in my rough throat. Then later, soothe it with orange juice and a mint-aloe green tea Tara made.

Economic conditions and our perceptions of them can change swiftly like the weather. That’s why proverbial "spring cleaning" in any season is good. Reviewing the circumstances and components of your garden gives you another opportunity to get a better handle on what’s in it. You may keep a few beauty spots but some hopeful apples have turned out to be rotten tomatoes.

To show how tricky it is, even the mints and bougainvillea were so withdrawn this past winter that we were surprised upon their incipient resurgence. Seasons like cyclicality come and grow. Inner listening and finding balance is always a challenge. On a note of art-imitates-life, we close with this tangential note. You might like to see a few worthy, soon-to-be-released indie movies: For cultivating the internal body, "Golf in the Kingdom;" a gently pensive film, "Some Days are Better than Others;" and if you're passionate, yet emotionally stable, "Norwegian Wood."

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 and

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.