In 2010, Linda started Farm YOUR Yard, a service that helps homeowners grow their own food in their own yard using organic and sustainable gardening techniques. Not only is Linda an entrepreneur, she's also a nature lover, and friend of honey bees. Read on to hear Linda talk about Farm YOUR Yard and why gardening and bees go together like peanut butter and jelly.
Linda, tell us about your business Farm Your Yard and how you came up with this great idea for a business?
Feeling unfulfilled working in the advertising/design business for 18 years, I decided to return to something I loved as a child…gardening. The two-dimensional graphic design projects for Kreidler Design’s clients were a natural progression into the three-dimensional world of garden design. This extended the opportunity for me to work as an artist in Horticulture. Providing an unlimited pallet of texture, scale and color, plus the added dimension of space and sound. While working in partnership with “Mother Nature” I found a humbling and valuable experience. In 2010, I added “Farm YOUR Yard” to the menu of services offered by Kreidler Design. I had already been combining food plants in flower garden designs but after reading a book called The Practical Garden of Eden by Fred Hagy, I was inspired to help people grow their own food in their own yards.
What would you tell people who always wanted to grow their own vegetable garden but were overwhelmed by the idea of planning and caring for a garden?
Do not waste time being overwhelmed. If that is holding you back hire a garden designer to start your project off in the right direction. They can (at least I do for my clients) organize, in steps, what it will take to begin your garden. They will analyze your site, your needs and your dreams so you or a landscaping company can install a garden which will “work for you.” If you are delayed by fear you are only missing out on that year’s crops.
I do an initial consultation, which lasts approximately 2 to 3 hours at the client’s home. At that time we discuss what they want from the garden after it is complete, it may be providing a flower garden, a recreation area for the family and pets, a source of food, a private meditation space or a design for other uses. At that time, I also see what there is on site to work in our favor or may have to be changed to accommodate the needs of the design. Above all, the customer and Kreidler Design, work as a team to consider the functionality and sustainability of the garden. It is very important to consider the garden’s needs and educate the owner as to how they will be involved in the future of their garden.
Why is it so important for people to use sustainable practices when they're planning and taking care of their own gardens?
Sustainable techniques should be considered at the beginning of a project. A garden is organic, ever changing, and growing constantly. Therefore, taking in consideration functionality (water source, light requirements, physical accessibility, etc.) early in the design process, will help to ensure the garden’s productivity for years to come and also save the caregiver’s back.
What got you interested in partnering with an apiary?
The Bees work for the Garden’s sake and the Garden is there to feed the Bees. A perfectly beautiful, symbiotic relationship in nature. Linda Kreidler is just a middle-man. One of Mother Nature’s handmaidens.
Commercial lawn care companies and Monsanto! Need I say more?
Nope, you said it! What are some strategies that you can think of that people do to make their gardens safer for honey bees?
Never use chemicals and plant flowers for all stages of the gardening season, from very early spring flowering plants through fall plants that withstand the chill of oncoming winter.
And finally, what're your favorite pollinator plants?
Lavenders, Verbena, Clover, Dandelion, Sweet Alyssum, Locust. Everything and anything with a flower is usually wonderful. All these can be planted in or near a vegetable garden. The list is unlimited and if used in the right combinations will not only help pollinate a food garden but make it a beautiful one as well.