Kyle is passionate about re-establishing the relationship between people and food from farm-to-fork. Firefighter by day and seasoned urban farmer by passion, he loves to share what he has learned with others through his Instagram and the bi-weekly farm stand he operates as a community-oriented, donation-based stand. He likes to spend his spare time outdoors gardening, foraging for wild food, hunting, and fishing.
1. You Have Such An Amazing Instagram Account. How Many Hours Do You think You Have Spent Getting Your Garden Up And Running?
I started our garden in 2014 and most of it was completed in the first year. Nowadays, I spend about six to eight hours a week maintaining the garden. The hours mostly depend on the season, but spring and fall are definitely the busiest times.
2. What Was The First Plant You started With and What Is Your Most Favorite Plant To Grow?
Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes! They were the first vegetable I ever started from seed back in 2003, the first in our current garden, and still my favorite to grow.
3. You Are A Strong Believer In The Farm To Fork Initiative. Why Do You think This Is So Important For A Healthy Lifestyle?
There’s no question that fresh food whether it’s produce or meat is more healthy than the alternative. The communities with chefs and farmers who build relationships to foster this experience are enriching the health and culture of those communities.
4. What Are Your Best Tips For The Right Soil, Water And Fertilizer Applications?
- The best way to improve your soil is to add compost or other organic matter each season.
- Irrigation schedules can very a lot, but regardless of how often you’re watering, I always recommend long infrequent irrigation to encourage and establish deep healthy roots.
- Feeding plants with organic fertilizers is a great way to maintain healthy plants, and ensure consistent harvests, but the key with fertilizers is always use organic.
5. What Are The Varieties Of Herbs And Vegetables Growing In Your Garden Now?
We grow tons of different fruits, vegetables, and herbs year-round so there are far too many to list.
6. What Are 3 Of The Biggest Challenges You Face With Growing Vegetables At Home?
- Organic pest control, more specifically squirrels and rodents in our neighborhood.
- Space – we have a good size garden but still limited by space.
- Time – as a home gardener with a busy work schedule and life outside of the garden, it’s sometimes challenging to make enough time to manage a large vegetable garden.
7. For Someone Just Getting Started And Thinking Of Growing A Backyard Garden, What Are The Top 4 Things They Need To Do To Have A Successful Harvest?
- Start small and expand your garden only as much as you can maintain.
- Don’t be afraid to fail, but always learn from your mistakes.
- Try staring a few vegetables from seed, and a few from nursery starts, then decide what works best for you.
- Be diligent about checking for pests and disease because they will happen, but they’re much easier to manage when you spot them early on.
8. Much Of Our Food Has Become So Commercialized. Do You See A Difference In Growing Food At Home?
Growing your own food gives you complete control of the quality, flavor and safety of your food. These three factors should be at the top of every consumer’s list of priorities regarding the food they consume.