What We Grow & How We Grow — Our Kitchen Garden

As a stay-at-home dad my focus is on mentoring my young kids (7 & 5 years old.) How I interact with them is how I interact with our garden. With time as the necessary component, I practice what I call, “Harmonious Communication.” This type of communication is a culmination of many principles; with “Nonviolent Communication” principles playing a large part. In addition to, a deep understanding of the principles and mechanisms that drive the natural world enables us to do more with less effort and resources. The natural world is a machine with many moving parts. All these parts interact with one another moving in opposing directions (cause and effect) to generate the propulsion that moves towards a harmonious state.

One understood principle is that pests and diseases are an indicator of a cause and effect loop. Our gardens are planted with this understanding. As a result, I spend time to foster robust and resilient plants; as opposed to spending time to treat them. This is achieved by understanding what nature’s purpose is for a certain pest or disease and putting that to work. The opposite is to act on the problem without knowing that it will exacerbate it. This is liken to removing the natural feedback back effect and replacing it with human driven effort.

It is also very important to note that all growing styles are relevant. Which style a gardener chooses will be dependent on their set of circumstances and the amount of time they have. These tours are for garden enthusiasts; to enjoy seeing what we grow and to understand some of the mechanics of how our garden grows.

Video caption: Hello, I am Brian. About 8 years ago I became a stay at home dad. I went from an after work and weekend gardener to a food producer for our family. About a year ago, I put my energy on succession planting. To date, our garden provides us with the bulk of our produce. Our climate does most of the growing. My job is to ensure: -that there is a constant supply of food for our soil. -that I understand the needs of individual types of plants and to match up them up with those conditions. -that is a constant stream of new plants to take the place of harvested plants. To bring everything together, I take a multidimensional skills and knowledge based approach. There is a blend of many disciplines from farm management to holistic practices. Results are a steady supply of variety and garden to table produce.

Succession Growing, An Illustration

Growing beds with one type of vegetable for one large harvest has been a traditional gardening practice for the longest time. Succession planting for smaller yields and variety, on the other hand, is an impactful re-imagination of this traditional gardening practice. There are many reasons why single harvest methods of growing is the most popular method. Above all, the reason it persists is because this practice is relatively easy to grasp, manage, and execute. Climate is another influencer of how food is grown. Southern California’s climate allows for year-round growing. This means that many types of crops can be grown throughout the year; versus having to grow our fill for the year in a short amount of time.

Video caption: A variety of fresh (garden to table) vegetables are perhaps the greatest perks of growing a garden. Succession planting is key to this perk. In this video, we see an example of succession planting in action. This is a skill that takes time, patience, and discipline to develop. The key take away is that it is possible.

Crazy About Citrus

Collecting citrus is a hobby of mine. Blood oranges are one category that I enjoy curating.

The Plants Not Often Seen

As someone who has a fascination for the natural world, I am also very interesting it non food plants. They are not often seen or highlighted on my social media content but they do exist. Look for them in the background!