Kitchen Gardens for Everyone

Mar 19, 2009

Some call them Victory Gardens, but we prefer the term “kitchen garden.” Whatever they’re called, everyone suddenly wants one, including Michelle Obama. The Obamas will have a professional team and a serious budget to create their kitchen garden, but we San Gabriel Valleyites have one thing they don’t have: A near-perfect growing climate.

Although there is a certain faddishness to the edible-garden craze, this is by no means the new Chia Pet. The benefits of a kitchen garden are vast: It produces delicious and cheap food, it’s as locavore as possible, it will get you to actually start composting, it will inspire your kids to actually eat their vegetables that they’ve grown themselves, and it will just plain make you happy.

Pasadena garden kumquats; photo by Jennifer Cheung & Steven Nilsson

Pasadena garden kumquats; photo by Jennifer Cheung & Steven Nilsson

In today’s Pasadena Weekly, Ellen Snortland wrote a great column about setting up her garden in Altadena. Read it here, and take note of her referrals for garden designers and installers, as well as for her CSA (community-supported agriculture) group, where she’s getting locally grown produce until her garden kicks in.

We’ll add a few of our favorite resources:

• Garden consultant/designer/installer Sandy Gillis (yes, that Sandy Gillis, of Hometown Pasadena co-author fame), 626.394.2834; she can also set you up to be an egg farmer like herself.

• Urban beekeeper Kirk Anderson, who will install and maintain your own backyard beehive.

• CSA farm-share produce from Tierra Miguel Foundation is now available at Julienne in San Marino,

• The King of Compost, Altadena’s Tim Dundon,



Flintridge Books

Lyd and Mo Photography

Louis Jane Studios

Homage Pasadena