I’ve got two thumbs but trust me, they’re not even close to being green. I honestly don’t know how this happened. I grew up with a mother who, from as early as I can remember, always had her hands in the dirt and a grandmother who moonlighted as a landscaper. Flowers, gorgeous trees, a perfect lawn, even a homegrown compost pile with the sweetest tomatoes you’ve ever tasted growing out of it were all the handiwork of my family matriarchs. Somehow in my case, their talents skipped a generation as I have always been much more adept at eating rather than planting.

When my husband and I found our house 4 years ago, one of the major selling points of it for me were the newly planted fruit trees and potted vegetable plants around the house. I was determined to maintain them and fantasized about us growing all of our own produce. Well, two children and a start-up business later, our once flourishing garden has become populated with a mish mosh of plants that I probably over water, may or may not get the sun they need and are overrun by weeds. The only thing that requires no attention throughout the year and grows non-stop in my jungle is shiso leaf and as much as I love shiso, it’s not exactly an herb you can use in most recipes.

All this doesn’t mean that I haven’t tried here and there to keep my garden growing. About twice a year, the kids and I get really excited when we see interesting fruit, vegetable and herb plants at our local farmer’s market, we buy a bunch and bring them home to plant. The amount of fun the kids have helping me in the garden is greater than almost any other activity I see them involved in. They love digging in the dirt, looking for worms, breaking up the roots with their little hands, covering the baby plants with soil and of course, watering, watering, watering. We’ve grown watermelon, corn, sweet peppers, tons of basil, and quarts of cherry tomatoes. We even have a blueberry bush in the summertime that the kids and their friends love to pick clean. As great as all this sounds in theory, I have a bad habit of planting things without really knowing what I’m doing and so plants that require more sun get less and vice versa. The results can be mixed and I tend to lose my gardening mojo as soon as the first “crop” has been harvested and then my garden falls apart completely until I get the urge again.

Enter one of my mommy idols, Lauri Kranz. Lauri is mom to two adorable little boys, Milo and Gus, and she is one of the coolest ladies you’ll ever meet. Aside from being a gifted singer and songwriter, Lauri builds and nurtures local school gardens and, with her company, EdibleGardensLA, helps local chefs and other wannabe farmers like myself grow lush gardens full of organic foods.

Over the next few months I’m going to absorb every bit of knowledge I can from Lauri and with her, fill my neglected pots with plants, put in raised planting beds to increase our bounty, start to compost, improve our soil, FINALLY learn how to grow two great big green thumbs and get the whole family out in the garden regularly!

From witnessing my own little ones as well as those of my friends, I’ve always believed that getting kids in closer contact with where their food comes from is essential to them developing good eating habits. With all the time I spend in the kitchen for weelicious, building my own edible garden just seemed like a logical step. The best part about this new adventure is that I’m going to keep you posted of our progress every step of the way and hopefully inspire you to get out into your own garden, create one if you don’t already have one and show you just how easy gardening can be (Lauri assures me it is!). Every other week here at weelicious we’re going to feature a special section on My Own Edible Garden and offering tips tricks and ideas (and even a few freebies) for how to make yours better. As usual, I welcome any great ideas or suggestions you want to offer!

Here are some “before” pictures, wait until you see what’s happening in two weeks!






About the Author

Catherine is a mama of three. A Kentucky girl living in California. Here’s what I know: all kids can be great eaters and mealtime must be easy. I create simple, healthy recipes the whole family will love.


  1. Pretty part of content. I just stumbled upon your web site and in accession capital to claim that I acquire in fact enjoyed account your weblog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing in your feeds or even I achievement you get entry to persistently rapidly.

  2. We have to use pots as well, don’t have enough sun in the plantable areas of my yard. Wondering the best type of pot, and do I need to worry about chemicals leaching from the pots into the plants? Thx!!

  3. LOL! Love your comments on your photos. Good for you getting the garden going. We had one last year and loved it. This year, we’re making it bigger. To be fair, my DH is the one with the green thumb, and I’ve done very little. Our 3.5 YO is really excited about it again, and the 1 YO will hopefully get to enjoy it more by harvest time when she’ll almost be 2.

  4. Wonderful, can’t wait to follow along. My hubby has a green thumb, and we’re planning on starting our garden this month. Hopefully my 3-yo boy will enjoy growing things he can eat. Now if only I can get him to eat them!

  5. This makes me so excited!!! I was just talking to my husband about maybe growing some basic herbs, like basil and cilantro, in a little planter outside. I’ve never grown anything before though. Can’t wait to see and read about your progress, and hopefully find some more inspiration! Good luck!!

  6. We have a large plot in a community garden that was a bit disastrous last year. We had 4 squash plants and just one edible zucchini. Gonna try again this year, using what we learned didn’t work last year. We’ll see how it goes. Looking forward to your advice!

  7. Great idea! Good luck and I look forward to following along. My mom has a wonderful green thumb and a beautiful garden and I did not inherit any of her skills at all, so I admire your ambition!

  8. kuddos to you! My hubby comes from a long line of farmers so he has planted tons of berry bushes, rhubarb and even muscadine grapes in our yard. However, he does not have the time to care for our plants properly so I will be following along and hope to learn somethign from you to help my own neglected garden!!

  9. Lauri and I are sitting down to chat about all 1000 of my questions 🙂 I will ask her where to buy seeds and more!!

  10. Catherine, Does your friend have any recommendations on where to purchase seeds? DH and I were thinking what fun it would be to grow some heirloom tomatoes, but, don’t know where to buy seeds. Thanks!

  11. I’ve just atarted writing about my efforts Container Gardening. As a military family with sometimes short notice moves, we don’t have the stability to do much “in the soil” gardening. For those who think where you’re living keeps you from gardening, not true! I’ve grown much of our summer produce for the last three years and usually have enough to can and freeze.

  12. We just moved in to a rented house that has an acre of ground beside it that we are hoping to use to make a veg garden. My husband has already planted onions, tomatoes and raspberry bushes for us and we have parsley and dill in pots in our sunroom. We’re getting more seeds next week to put down. We’re in Ireland so not sure how much will grow but we’ll hopefully have a good summer again and get some produce out of the garden. If we’re sure we’ll stay longterm we want to get a proper greenhouse too. Cant wait for all the tips to help us along. 😀

  13. Catherine,

    I just LOVE your website. So much better than all of the over-cooked (no pun intended) over-dramatic mommy blogs out there. Your recipes are delish — we’ve made several of them now. And this entry about an edible garden really resonated with me. We’ve recently bought a home and I’m keen to dig into the dirt, while managing a full time career, husband and a sweet two year old son. Keep up the great entries.

    american in sydney

  14. I’m so excited for this. I want to plant an edible garden in my back yard and have been waiting for my youngest to get a little older (and the weather to be right). So I am really looking forward to learning with you!! Thanks so much!

  15. Can’t wait to follow along I am super excited !! We’re trying a raised box garden this year. We live on the water and don’t have much of a yard.

  16. You will LOVE having a garden. My husband is the green thumb of the family and he has built 6 raise bed gardens in our backyard. Starts everything from seed in our garage in late winter with heat pads, lights, timers etc so everything is transplanted on time. The best part is how involved he has gotten our 2 1/2 year old. She loves to help daddy plant the seeds, water them and of course pick and eat them. Last summer I don’t think any sugar snap peas or cherry tomatoes made it inside. She ate them all as she helped pick them. I think its neat to be able to show her how easy it really is to grow our own produce and have a mini farmers market in our backyard. With how involved your kids are with your recipes I am positive they will want to be fully involved with the garden. We have a neat little compost pail in our kitchen and our daughter knows that’s where her banana and orange peels go to help make “good dirt” for her veggies. Plus home grown taste soooooo much better than store bought!! Have fun!

  17. I will be interested to read along this series. We are renting right now, but once we buy we plan on doing some gardening. 🙂

  18. I love that my super-picky preschoolers will eat ANYTHING we plant. Whenever they pass by the veggies while outside planting, they always grab some grape tomatoes (easy to hold a few and pop into your mouth like grapes) or green beans or peas (fun to pry open and see what size peas are inside). I grew up with 2 big gardens and I miss them. Wish I had room in my small yard. Oh well, potted plants seem to be working for now! Can’t wait for the summer for my tomatoes, peppers, eggplant,…! This year we’re adding strawberries to our “garden”.

  19. I like planting leafy greens in a window box. Spinach, lettuce, kale, swiss chard – all kinds!

  20. Can you ask lauri what we can grow in your apartment in NYC in the windowsill??? We are in ohio for the week to get our suburban fix…So jealous of your garden!!!! 🙂

  21. Can’t wait to follow along. We’re trying to plant some different veggies in containers this year as well. We did a couple of tomatoes last year…learned a bit along the way…and now will be adding some herbs and peppers this year!

  22. I rent a small space in Hawaii, and have only a small lanai for planting space. In 3 long low pots, from seed, I’ve planted green peppers, lettuce, and spinich, w/ scallions all around the edges in all 3. The lettuce and scallions are looking great; the spinich and green peppers are just coming up. In hanging baskets (topsy tervy’s), I’ve started jalapeno and edemame (also from seed – very easy), strawberries, blueberry, lg round tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, and roma tomatoes, sage, oregeno, basil, a sugar substitute I can’t recall the name, and I recently sprouted 8 cilantro plants (don’t know where they’ll go yet – but I’ll find a spot). Not much room, but all organic, and I’m hopeful to produce some edible treats!

  23. This is such a great idea! I look forward to reading your posts. I am trying my hand at container gardening again this year (for the 3rd time)…hope i’m successful this year…

  24. Great idea. My grandfather was the gardener in our family and my father learned some tips from him. They both grew up in Italy on farms and had to have a garden to feed the family. Now that I am older I want to carry on the tradition.
    I had my dad build me two gardens a few years ago, one is 20 x 20 and the other is 15×15. Having a garden is real exciting for kids, at least it is for mine and my picky 4 yr old helps with taking care of it, though he still won’t try all the veggies we grow, he at least will touch and smell it. A first step in the right direction!I
    So excited, looking forward to your series.

  25. When I initially left a coemmnt I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new coemmnts are added- checkbox and from now on every time a coemmnt is added I recieve 4 emails with the exact same coemmnt. Is there a way you can remove me from that service? Thanks!

  26. I love this Catherine! My kids love gardening too. I love it as well, but like yours, my life gets busy. The other day I realized I hadn’t even been to see my garden at the side of the house for 2 weeks!

    I can’t wait to watch / read all of your updates!

  27. You have an amazing space to work with. Plants ARE easy….you just have to embrace the weeds (weeds are beautiful, they can be considered a friend….just call them “friend”) Also, the heck with weeding, just take some scissors and cut them shorter than your plant (sounds like I’m kidding….I’m not). I read in a book last year that weeds and plants grow together because they thrive off of one another. I read that you should always leave at least one plant of each type of weed that grows in an area for that very reason….because it’s there for a reason.
    Anyways, don’t be so hard on yourself….I went to college to become a horticuluralist and my yard and garden has, by far, the most weeds and an incredible amount of neglected empty planters 🙂 Adds….character??

  28. You have no idea what great timing you have! I have two very brown thumbs as well, but hubby and I are planning a vegetable garden on our balcony with pots and raised planting beds this year. We’re using something called square foot gardening. Hopefully we can both come out with something edible!

  29. Great idea. I wish I had a yard to plant veggies, fruits, herbs etc but I am in a condo 🙁 I will still gladly follow your gardening success 🙂

  30. yes – I love this new series already and can totally relate. Can’t wait to be as inspired by your gardening as I have been by your cooking!! Cheers 🙂

  31. Our family is going to try square foot gardening this year. I would love to plant some basil, cilantro, rosemary, rhubarb, green/yellow/red peppers, radishes, tomatoes (regular sized and cherry), cucumbers, etc. Love to hear about your progress. Hope it goes well for you.

  32. Good luck. I just got seeds today but its still too cold in Indiana. I had a great garden in NC in my huge yard last year Im so used to starting a garden in February. Now I have very limited space and have to put everything in containers 🙁

  33. You have a great start!!

    Since we’re renting there’s not a whole lot I can plant…but I did start an herb garden and a strawberry pot! When we’re homeowners I’ll have a garden. I plan on growing lettuces, berries, fruit trees, rhubarb, root veggies – the works! 🙂

  34. just be careful about rhubarb — it’s poisonous for the first 3 years but afterward is edible and wonderful.

  35. Try rhubarb! It’s so easy…you really don’t have to do anything to it and it grows like a weed…but if you remember to water it it grows even faster! My hubby and I came across a giant rhubarb plant at our previous residence and only ate it because it was growing like a weed…now that we have moved we want it back! Good luck!

  36. We’re going to plant in TONS of pots. I’ve had a ton of success with it too. Lauri will answer all of your questions over the coming weeks!

  37. hi i am trying to grow our own too but i am doing it in pots did she say anything abt planting in pots ? wea are doing strawberries, tomato’s, and bell pepers

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.