We had the good fortune of connecting with Christy Wilhelmi and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Christy, what’s something about your industry that outsiders are probably unaware of?
People often equate organic vegetable gardening care and coaching with landscape maintenance. They couldn’t be more different. The service Gardenerd provides is more like child care or therapy, depending on what the client needs. Growing one’s own food is coaxing the miracle of life from a seed, and learning to tend and understand plants. It is deepening one’s connection to nature every day.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I came into this world a performer. Since I was 3 1/2 years old I’ve been on stage dancing, acting, inspiring. I transitioned to organic vegetable gardening after an injury, to help spread the word about saving the planet one garden at a time and I now use my theater skill set to teach, through classes, videos, podcasts, blog posts, and gardening books. Transitions are never easy, but I felt like I was in the right place at the right time for once in my life: the recession when everyone wanted to grow their own food. Now I want to create a television show that reaches a wider audience so more people can learn self-reliance and the joys of harvesting home-grown produce.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Visit the Huntington Library and Gardens and get a bag of scones from the tea room. Check out one of 120 community gardens in Los Angeles to see how people grow their own food year-round here. Grab a bite to eat at Cafe Gratitude or Sage Bistro and take a hike up Paseo Miramar for a great view of the ocean on a clear day.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Barbara Kingsolver’s book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle really shaped my life when I read it. It made me what to live entirely off the land and eat in a hyperlocavore fashion. John Jeavons and his course on the Grow-BioIntensive method re-arranged my brain about how to grow food in small-spaces. And the Drawdown research edited by Paul Hawken gave me more direction, since 20 of the top 100 solutions we can do to reverse climate change involve agriculture, food production, and soil regeneration.
Headshot by Inga Ornelas