My greatest teachers? 1. Alan Chadwick, one of the greatest horticulturists of the 20th century. 2.The gardens I’ve built and worked in. 3.The mistakes I’ve made and hopefully learned from. 4. Forty years with my hands deep in the soil. 5. And also a university degree in Conservation of Natural Resources from The College of Agricultural Sciences at University of California, Berkeley.
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A little about my formal background:
I received my B.S. in Conservation of Natural Resources, from the University of California, Berkeley. After that I studied with the great horticulturist, Alan Chadwick for 2 years. He brought French Intensive organic gardening to its height in Santa Cruz, California and many of his students have gone on to start farms, seed companies, and teach organic gardening. Since 1983 I’ve been designing and installing beautiful edible landscapes in California.
In 1978 I co-founded the Commonweal Garden in Bolinas. It was an organic farm and teaching center and is now a permaculture teaching garden.
I was a co author of the Feasibility Study for the Organic Farm and Garden of the College of Marin, which is now a major teaching center.
I have made teaching videos for AutoDesk for their Sustainable Education Curriculum on Edible Landscaping.
Edible landscaping is my specialty, but sustainable, native plant, and ALWAYS BEAUTIFUL gardens are what I love to do.
After 35 years of gardening and designing gardens, I’ve decided to share my experience in this gardening blog.
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Edible landscaping is the type of garden design I’ve been doing for 35 years! With landscaping ideas based on the principals of organic, sustainable and beautiful, I will pass on my hard earned lessons to those who are ready for the edible journey.
I will share garden tips, favorite plants, and how to easily and simply design and implement your own bountiful garden.
Some of you may be wondering “What in the world IS edible landscaping?” It is combining the best of both worlds of gardening and landscape design. It is a way for you to get deep satisfaction out of growing healthy, tasty foods for you and your family AND make your yard look beautiful.
I take the elements of good landscape design and infiltrate them with plants that we can harvest year round. The trick is putting the right plant in the right place. I will teach you how to skillfully incorporate those plants that look good with those that provide great food, but are too homely to be seen front and center.
A healthy plant is a beautiful plant. We’ll be talking about how to keep all your plants healthy and productive, using simple organic methods. But it’s still good to remember to always plant a little extra for the birds and others that come to the table to taste.
What I will do with this blog is set out in a straight forward and simple way, how to help you move forward with your plans to turn your own yard into a beautiful and productive paradise.
Just came across your website. We live in a climate where the growing season is only 4 months & I am trying to extend it. I have a Bed & breakfast open late May to late late Septemeber. So I am getting into hydroponics as the planting to harvesting time-frame is reduced to 4 weeks. Have found an excellent system which uses 955 less water than soild based gardening & the power of a nightlight to run the pump & timer which spray water inside the unit for 3 minutes 4-5 times per hour. Do you have expertise in soil-less gardens please? thank you from an excited newbie!
You don’t say where you live, but there are some great books on extending the growing season in cold climate. Eliot Coleman has written about his farm called Four Season Farm in Maine. Anna Edey has a book called Solviva, about her farm on Martha’s Vineyard. Hydroponics requires a lot of energy input and you must always be feeding your plants, as water has no nutrient. I don’t have personal experience, but it’s not what I would recommend for healthy, organic food. There is a lot of interaction between the plants, their roots and the extensive life in the soil that creates beautiful food. Could you have a small greenhouse on your property? You will see in Solviva how she grew a lot of produce in a small space. Let me know where you live. Good luck.
Love your website..
Love your blog and website. Going to get some Fava beans tomorrow
What a beautiful websight!
I look forward to sharing it as it will be an inspiration for all.
Also, our Fava Beans just came in…. you missed them by about twenty minutes.
Thanks for the compliment. I would love it if you shared it. The seed is already sown on the hillside. I’ll be writing a post soon on erosion control and seeding. It is great you carry seed in bulk. Avis
Hi Avis, nice blog. I enjoyed the photos and advice. I have some nice little seedlings germinating in my greenhouse right now if you want to take a few pics. I should do a blog but I hate sitting at the computer. Mine would combine cooking, gardening and health advice. I love to cook, which brings me to the subject of dinner. Are you guys just busy all the time or do you have an evening when we could have dinner at our house in Woodace, just minutes from your house. How giving us some dates and we can nail it?
Love the blog Avis! Congrats!
I forwarded the link to some friends!