Grow with Us

The Growing Club offers a variety of consultation services to help residents, businesses, and municipalities make the transition to ecological design and sustainability. We can help you with anything from starting a vegetable garden to reducing your energy bills to composting your organic waste. Our skilled consultants have years of experience in their fields, and are recognized throughout LA County for their exceptional work.

On-site Garden Consultations

Need help with your home garden? Want to incorporate sustainable design solutions into your home or business landscape? Confused about California appropriate landscaping? The Growing Club can help you through our consulting services. Our consultants are thoroughly educated and experienced in sustainable, ecological design, and can help you find the simple and natural solutions to your problems.

We work with Nature to create integrated system that solve your problems and have a positive ecological impact. Some of areas of specialty include:
– growing food at home
– rainwater harvesting
– drought resilient gardening
– greywater-to-landscape system design
– water management
– soil management
– tree care (specializing in fruit trees)
– urban livestock (chickens, ducks, quail, rabbits, bees)

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Growing Club Members receive discounts on consultations.

Ecological Landscape Design

As California’s drought intensifies, many residents and businesses are looking to replace water-thirsty lawns with California-appropriate low-water landscapes. Sadly, many landscaping firms are taking advantage of the situation to create expensive gravel and cactus fields, which actually worsen the situation.

At The Growing Club, we take a much more holistic approach to garden design. Our ecological garden designs take into account not only the needs of our clients, but also the needs of the surrounding ecosystem.

A Growing Club garden design always takes into account the following features:

Rainwater Harvesting

Water is the basis for life, and no ecological landscape is complete without taking into account the flow of water over and through it and water capture design forms the framework for all of our landscape designs. We consider several factors when integrating water capture into our designs: Where are there water harvesting sources? What is the direction of water flow? Where is water needed? What will happen in case of flooding? How can we maximize on-site water capture? By harvesting the maximum of water possible, we create the conditions for health and growth. We also reduce or eliminate urban water runoff, one of the primary causes of beach/ocean pollution and the dehydration of urban landscapes.

Greywater-to-Landscape Recycling

Greywater is any water used within a building that can be re-used as irrigation water for plants in a landscape. Greywater was legalized in CA several years ago, and legal sources of greywater include laundry machine, bathroom sink, and bathroom shower water. Greywater represents a significant quantity of household water use, and when recycled outdoors, can significantly reduce or eliminate the need for irrigation water.

Soil Regeneration

Few people understand the tantamount role sole plays in ecosystem health. Soil health determines what types of plants will grow, how much water an ecosystem is able to store, the health of plants, and many more critical factors of ecosystem health. Our designs incorporate soil health regeneration as an integral piece of the design whole. Some common features of our designs that focus on soil health include: use of mulches to cover soil at all times, limitation or elimination of hardscape surfaces, use of trees & vines to protect and cool soil, and extensive use of compost.

Wildlife Habitat Creation

A garden design is not only for the benefit of the client commissioning it. An ecosystem consists of a variety of organisms and the relationships between those organisms. Our designs incorporate many of what we call “linking features,” which create points of connection humans, domestic animals, and wildlife. Such features include trees that can provide space for birds and insects to nest while also producing fruit, wild bee hotels that provide housing for CA native bees which pollinate fruit trees, and “mini-ponds” which provide clean drinking water to wildlife and prevent damage to irrigation equipment.

Passive Solar Design

Few people realize how large a role the design of an outdoor landscape can have on the comfort and peacefulness of the interior environment. Homes and buildings that are surrounded by concrete and asphalt are significantly warmer and less pleasant inside that home surrounded by trees, plants, and natural beauty. Our garden designs take into account all of these factors. Passive Solar Design specifically looks at how indoor temperatures can be regulated through smart design, rather than through energy intensive and polluting HVAC units. Examples of how passive solar design can be incorporated into existing homes include:
– shading south facing windows and walls with deciduous trees and vines
– insulating walls and harvesting rainwater by placing rain tanks against southern and western facing walls
– reducing reflective heat by replacing hardscape (concrete, asphalt, bricks) with heat absorptive surfaces (plants, mulch, water features)

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Composting and Waste Management

UVM Compost Facility
Lynn compost
Are you an urban farm, nursery, public/commercial garden, or municipality that wants to reduce landfill waste and create high-quality, odor-free compost? Compost does not have to be a difficult, smelly process. With a little understanding of the biology behind composting, a system can be developed to minimize odors and alleviate management challenges. With the right management system, your organization can create a rich and vibrant soil amendment that will improve the health and vitality of your soil and plants. Our Compost Master, Lynn Fang, can help you design, manage, or troubleshoot a compost system that works for your organization. Her approach takes into consideration the volume of waste materials generated, accessibility to additional materials that may be necessary for the composting process, the site size you have available, and responsible stormwater management.

Lynn has taught a university-level compost ecology class for the past 3 years and has given several talks on compost biology. She is available to teach workshops and courses on soil and compost ecology for people of all backgrounds.

Lynn recently received her MS from the University of Vermont in the field of Plant and Soil Science and is certified as a Compost Facility Operator from the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources. Her master’s dissertation sought to identify biological indicators of compost-mediated disease suppression of the soilborne plant pathogen Rhizoctonia solani. She has also learned Compost Technology from Elaine Ingham, PhD.

Services Offered:

Compost Facility Design – Design a compost facility to efficiently process incoming materials, minimize odors, and create high quality compost
Quality Control Design – Develop a quality control system to test newly produced compost in a greenhouse
Management Plans – Develop or improve management system for more efficient, quality composting
Troubleshooting or Improving an Existing Compost System – Troubleshoot issues such as odors, flies, inefficient composting
Teaching Workshops and Courses on Soil and Compost
Speaking About Soil and Compost

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