Eat well, vote well, be well

Thank you for your interest in the Home Growers Circle. Your vote helps the Home Growers Circle reflect the values that you want to see in Los Angeles' emerging urban farming culture. The stories and photos on this voting web page have been submitted directly by their applicants and appear unedited for your review.

The voting period has concluded. Thanks to everyone who voted! We are currently compiling the votes and will post the results on this page when they are ready. Check our Facebook page or our Twitter feed for an announcement of when the votes have been counted. Thank you!

Faith from Burbank

I am lucky enough to have purchased a home in 2006 with tons of gardening space and three existing fruit trees. Every April since my husband and I moved here, I have harvested over 700 pounds of loquats. I now have enough loquat jam to survive the apocalypse! While my peach and pomegranate trees haven't yet had a major harvest, it looks like they will this year. Additionally, I have built 4 raised boxes for herbs, squash, peas and watermelons that look to be well on their way to a great year. In the coming year, we will be designing the rest of our garden and while we will have a very small patch of lawn, most of our large yard will be edibles. I have loved the idea of Forage since I read about it and I'm really looking forward to being able to share our abundance with others.

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Thomas from 90039

I just want to be able to give my lemons and fruit away

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Anne from Van Nuys

As a home grower and blogger on the Huffington Post this seems like a natural spot for me. I love writing about my garden and food issues - you can check out my posts on the Huffington. Don't know how much time I will have to write - but would like to try. I am going to have tomatoes by the carload I think (have about 40 bushes planted of various varities) as well as squashes - so would love to have a way to share that.

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Brandon from Montrose

Joining the Home Growers Circle would be like finding a group of long lost relatives. This incredible networking opportunity would allow me to share my passion for growing food, and to learn and share in the experiences of the other growers. I am 100% behind what Forage is cultivating (pun intended) and would be honored to participate. If chosen you can bank on some bangin' patty pan.

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Charmaine & Brian from Silver Lake

We’re a young couple, born and raised in Los Angeles, CA and local to Silver Lake. Our commitment to one another, our home, and our community is one that we take great pride in cultivating for years to come.

We are home growers not because we can, but because we must. We must change our relationship with food. We must change our connection to the environment. We must change the dwindling sense of community in our fast-food culture, the result of our generation’s drive-by, buy-it-now mentality. We must slow down. We are home growers because we have chosen, out of an urgent need, to put on the brakes and just live.

We are apartment dwellers down the street from Forage. We don’t own our land; instead we’ve colonized a space on the property that had been barren for more than 10 years. We’re young, inexperienced and we’re making mistakes. But we are learning.

Zucchinis, Collard Greens, Bell Peppers, Kentucky Wonder Beans, Tomatoes, Strawberries, Butternut Squash, Swiss Chard, Red and Green Lettuce. Spinach in repurposed self-watering containers made from 2-liter soda bottles, a mysterious plant grown from a clipping that we’re still unsure about (though we’re about 90% certain it’s Comfrey), herbs that flavor our dinners at home, and the list goes on.

Home growing – as we’re finding out – is a journey, destination unknown. The foods we grow, whether they come to fruition or not, provide lessons along the way. Everyday, our little garden gives us an opportunity to care for and nourish plants that will eventually return the favor. It is so simple, yet profound.

Our interest in joining Forage’s Home Growers Circle is fueled by a desire to continue learning, sharing, and discovering what’s possible with our four hands, along with the help of friends in the community. This is a chance to address issues that affect many of us, including the cultivation of our food, along with regaining a sense of self-sufficiency and awareness despite the hurdle of misguided beliefs and the replacement of food with “food products”. We are passionate storytellers. We would love to share our stories with you, the public, as well as eventually work in partnership with local food establishments that use and encourage home-grown produce. Thanks so much for your consideration.

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Erin from West Van Nuys (Lake Balboa)

I'm uber-passionate about edible gardens. I plant veggie gardens as part of my Hope Gardens business (www.yourhopegarden.com) and of course have my own raised bed vegetable garden in my front yard. Really love this community-building, educational idea!

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Niki from San Gabriel

I am a restaurant owner. I just had 3 large raised beds installed into my backyard for growing special varieties of Japanese vegetables that I would like to eventually serve at my restaurant.

Farmscape Gardens referred your work to me and I would like to eventually get certified so that any produce I grow can be used at my restaurant in West Los Angeles.

I'm so excited to be learning about urban farming.

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Malika & Donny from Pasadena

While living in Venice for a few years, we had success growing tomatoes, herbs, onions, lettuce and peppers. Two months ago we moved to Pasadena and bought our first home. We plan to grow an abundance of edibles that will hopefully rival the harvests from our previous west side pad.

The Home Growers Circle would be a great beginning and opportunity to inspire and educate us as we create a new garden in our new home. In addition, we would love to be a part of this community that supports homegrown food in Los Angeles.

Malika often documented our Venice garden trials at locallosangeles.blogspot.com. We are excited at the prospect of continuing to share our experiences with the local community encouraging more people to grow their own food.

Vote for Malika + Donny!

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Nancy from West Covina

I first heard about Forage at a Gardening Forum that I frequent. There was a link about the restaurant and their innovative Harvest Call. I grew up in Silver Lake and my family still lives there so I visit quite often. I was intrigued about the idea and had planned on bringing vegetables from my garden but I heard that it was suspended. I was pretty bummed to say the least. From the same Gardening Forum I learned about the Home Growing Circle. I am pleased that Forage chose to persevere with the idea especially in a world where everything has to do with cost, mass production and the ability to be shipped. Taste seems to have taken to the backburner. I LOVE good food and I know the importance of fresh ingredients to make a memorable meal.

I have been gardening since I was a child and my garden is predominately edible. On my city lot, I plant avocados, citrus, figs and stone fruits which include Pluots, Donut Peaches, Babcock White Peaches, Snow Queen White Nectarines, Plums, Cot N Candy & Flavor Delight Apriums, Apricots, Fuyu & Chocolate Persimmons, Pomegrante, and Asian Pears. Also, in my garden are Strawberries, Raspberries, Blackberries and Blueberries. My vegetable garden is producing a bumper crop of beautiful heirloom tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, bush and pole beans, cucumbers, summer squash, melons, corn, edamame, herbs, Malabar spinach, mesclun, radish, and oriental vegetables. I believe in composting and vermicomposting. I use natural pest management and I am against pesticides. If I am chosen, I look forward to sharing my bountiful garden with the patrons of Forage.

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Andy from 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.

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Christa from La Canada

i've recently retired (3 months ago)...i've always been interested in gardening, but now it is becoming my passion, more than just the previous "weekend warrior" that i was & unfortunately only had the time for....now i have the time & i want to make the most of it, of every day......CARPE DIEM....that was the name of the monthly timesheet program we used when i was a litigation paralegal @ a major L.A. law firm.... *sigh*..... TODAY....CARPE DIEM...SEIZE THE DAY....has a whole new meaning to me!!!

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