The Growing Home
A demonstration ecological suburban home
About the Home
The Growing Home began as a simple home garden in 2009, with the idea that the easiest way to change the world is to start in your own life. At that time, Manju and Rishi Kumar (the mother and son team that founded The Growing Home) had become concerned about the food available in stores, the affect industrial agriculture was having on American society, and the immense amount of pollution and waste created by large-scale farming. Their first step was to create a small backyard garden, which would provide a good selection of fresh vegetables, fruits, and herbs. After the success of the first garden, they decided to remove their entire lawn to make more room for food plants in 2009. In 2011, The Growing Home officially opened as an educational demonstration site.
Since 2011, the mission and goals of The Growing Home have shifted several times. Initially, the goal was to grow as much food as possible. Since then, we have come to understand that the role of an urban farm should not be to simply grow food, but to inspire, educate, and enrich our community through the research and development of ideas, tools, and models which can create and develop sustainable communities of the future. In search of our goal, The Growing Home strives to be a community resource where ideas can be created, developed, and exchanged.
The Growing Home is continually being added to, modified, and adapted. We strive to create a low-cost model to effectively retrofit the suburban tract home into an urban ecosystem, where multitudes of life forms can live harmoniously and abundantly.
Features of the Home
Most vegetables eaten in America are annuals (plants that need to be grown from seed every year), due to the European ancestry of early Americans. Warmer climates, such as Southern California, are much more suited to the cultivation of perennial vegetables: food plants that grow for 3 years or longer. Examples of easy-to-grow perennial vegetables include tree collards (pictured), sorrel, new zealand spinach, artichokes, sunchokes, and much much more!
Fruit trees and vines are among the easiest and funnest plants to grow. When planted in the correct location, and properly fed and watered, fruit trees can provide immense amounts of food year after year after year. The orchard at The Growing Home now contains over 50 fruiting trees and vines (including many rare fruits), from mango to cherimoya to guava to pomegranate.