Lauri Kranz knows how to coax abundance out of the garden. The owner of Edible Gardens LA has been creating and sustaining vegetable gardens for clients like chef Suzanne Goin and pop star Katy Perry, around Los Angeles for years. During the height of the pandemic when many stores were closed, she wanted to make sure people had access to local produce. She took inventory of what she was growing and then started calling her farmer friends to see what they had available, realizing that much of their harvest would go to waste if they didn’t find a home for it. She organized the growers and soon began sharing the bounty. They started with six deliveries, which multiplied to more than 5,000 just a few weeks later. As normal life started resuming again, she realized she didn’t want to lose the relationships she had formed with her neighbors. “We created this community of caring for each other,” she recalls. “I wanted to stay connected.” Just before Thanksgiving, she and her husband, Dean Kuipers, opened a shop called LA Homefarm in Los Angeles’s Glassell Park.
“We want to feed and nurture the neighborhood,” says Kranz. They keep a range of aesthetics and prices so that anyone will be able to walk in and find something. There are tables overflowing with sustainably-grown produce, shelves of artisan-made pottery, freezers stocked with locally-made ice cream, buckets of homegrown flowers, and an array of items “to just bring some pleasure.” As they did during the height of the pandemic, they will continue to donate to food kitchens in the area. They also plan to host events and workshops. “Our mission is to create accessibility to good food for all of us,” she says. “We hope this becomes a place to create and find community.”
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