Meet Airam from San Diego, United States

“I am a suburban gardener making all my garden dreams come true one harvest at a time. I started growing food as a sort of therapy, some people run, some people workout. GARDEN is what rejuvenates me and brings me peace.

It is very important that my daughters be out in the garden with me, they’ve been in the garden with me even before they could walk. I want gardening to be second nature to them. Times are changing as we know it, health is our wealth and eating straight from the garden is a priority for me. Teaching them how to grow their own food is a basic life skill that I wish I was taught at a young age, so here I am doing my part so the next generation can be more sustainable and self sufficient.

I also raise monarchs every year. I started in 2016 and fell in love with it. I knew my eldest daughter would learn from the process. As the years have passed, the numbers keep getting larger and the love for monarchs keeps growing. The local news company has come to our home to interview me and to teach others about the do’s and don’ts in monarch raising.

I grow my family’s food in raised beds that my husband and I built together. I grow most of our veggies and fruits in 12 raised beds, I believe my garden thrives because I have a worm farm that provides me with worm castings as well as a compost bin which seems to be the secret to my happy plants. I don’t believe in using harmful chemicals or pesticides in my garden, I leave most bugs alone for I adore the ecosystem I’ve created for them. There are some garden pests that I will pick off with my fingers and if things get bad I will use castor soap mixed with Neem oil to try and stop the spread. If that doesn’t stop them then they’ve earned their place in the garden! When buying seeds I buy them once, and after I grow my food I save seeds for next season and keep extras to share and swap with garden friends.

I am hands on with friends and family when it comes to helping them start their own garden. My hopes are to encourage those around me to grow their own food even if it starts with a salsa garden. Just a little taste of gardening will show them how therapeutic & fun it is once you get the basics down. I’m not saying it’s easy, I’m saying it’s WORTH IT! I say “Grow food not lawns!”