Dan, an Iowa native, is proud to practice a much different sort of agriculture than his home state is known for. As Farmscape's CEO, he oversees a multiple bottom-line approach that seeks to maximize the venture's social and environmental impact as well as its financial well-being. Dan is a Master Gardener and a member of the LA Food Policy Council's Working Group on Urban Agriculture. He is also a periodic contributor to The Huffington Post and Seedstock. In his free time, Dan enjoys playing basketball and board games, as well as volunteering with school and community garden projects.
Farmscape is seeking a full-time urban farmer.
Last month, Farmscape helped Los Feliz resident Abbie Zands create a raised bed vegetable garden in his parkway. We planted a selection of crops with an eye toward keeping the garden tidy – mostly herbs, peppers, and eggplants. In the following weeks, Abbie tended the plot with his wife and two daughters and it became a gathering point for neighborhood residents walking their dogs or returning from the grocery store. The produce was divvied up between Abbie’s family and neighbors, with neighbors sending along photos and recipes showing how they used the produce to be posted on a newly launched Parkway to Table blog.
The story should have ended there, as another example of home vegetable gardens improving lifestyles and building community. But it didn’t.
In previous posts, we’ve discussed the scientific properties of homegrown produce that account for its superior flavor, such as Brix (sweetness), pH (acidity) and volatile organic compounds (aroma). However, we have talked relatively little about how enjoying the food in the context of a backyard farm boosts our perception of its quality. It’s one of the reasons we encourage members to locate their raised beds gardens prominently in their landscapes rather than tucking them away in a distant corner of the yard. When you layer the quality of the produce on top of being around the context where it’s grown, it’s a great experience.