Urbanfig is excited to introduce you to Rob McFarland, co-Founder of HoneyLove.org a 501(c)3 non-profit conservation organization with a mission to protect the honeybees and inspire and educate new urban beekeepers.
NUMBER OF YEARS URBAN GARDENING: 8
FAVORITE THINGS TO GROW:
Blueberries, artichokes, and lettuce
URBAN FARMING LOCATION:
Del Rey Neighborhood of Los Angeles
Soil is alive and compost is your friend.
YOUR OWN GARDENING TIPS AND TRICKS:
In order to grow something, you must first plant a seed.
WHY DID YOU FIRST START GROWING YOUR OWN ORGANIC FOOD?
I started growing food because I wanted a tangible way of living more sustainably.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING TO GROW?
Any food crop. Nothing more satisfying than getting to eat (or drink) something you’ve grown.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING TO COOK OUT OF THE GARDEN?
Broccoli, my favorite vegetable. I love the simplicity of steaming some broccoli that is fresh from the garden.
WHO TAUGHT YOU HOW TO GARDEN (OR HOW DID YOU LEARN)?
I learn something new almost every day, mostly from reading and talking with fellow gardeners. My Mom taught me the gardening fundamentals, and also taught me the love of gardening (and learning).
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR BEGINNER GARDENERS?
I don’t have advice so much as I have encouragement: JUST GO FOR IT. Even if you don’t think you have room, you can always start with one container and one tomato plant.
HOW MANY HOURS PER WEEK DO YOU SPEND IN THE GARDEN?
Totally depends on the week, but I try to spend time in the garden every day.
DO YOU RAISED BEDS, CONTAINERS, THE GROUND OR A COMBINATION OF WHAT?
I have stuff growing in a combination of containers, raised beds, and in the ground.
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE IN THE GARDEN?
Not having enough space or direct sunlight. Also, birds LOVE to steal my berries.
WHAT ARE YOU GROWING RIGHT NOW?
Raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, kiwi berries, strawberries, goji berries, passion fruit, pomegranate, figs, lime, lemon, grapefruit, orange, tangerine, guava, grapes, avocado, lettuce, summer squash, borage, sunflowers, artichoke, carrots, cilantro, rosemary, oregano, chocolate mint, and spearmint.
HOW HAS GROWING YOUR OWN ORGANIC FOOD AFFECTED OR CHANGED YOUR LIFE?
Growing food has given me a new understanding of what it means to be successful.
WHY DO YOU THINK IT´S IMPORTANT THAT PEOPLE GROW THEIR OWN FOOD?
Growing food is one of those activities that helps us see behind the curtain, and gives us an appreciation of the natural world. It brings you to the core of what it means to be human. Agriculture after all is one of the forces behind our evolution as a species.
WHAT IS YOUR MOST FAVORITE THING ABOUT GARDENING?
It sounds cliche, but at a fundamental level, my favorite part of gardening is feeling connected the natural world. That and getting to eat delicious garden-fresh food.
OTHER THOUGHTS OR COMMENTS?
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