134: Cecilia Nedelko on Growing Organically

Producing an abundant and varied harvest through truly organic techniques.


Cecilia is a Master Gardner, permaculturist, seed saver, a dowser and an herbalist.   Gardening has been a passion all her life.  She is the founder and owner of “Cecilia’s Garden” and has transformed her residence into an urban farm utilizing the front & back yards.  Her garden is a highly producing, self-sufficient sanctuary specializing in vegetables, fruit and eggs.  All of her produce is grown beyond organics – meaning she doesn’t use any of the approved 244 organic chemicals one can use and still be called organic.

Cecilia’s produce is sold at local farmer’s markets and she also supplies produce for a local restaurant that supports locally grown veggies. The sense of community is strong in her neighborhood with neighbors dropping in to pick-up eggs, veggies, or fruit, or just for the opportunity to visit and enjoy the serenity of “Cecilia’s Garden.”

In This Podcast:  Cecilia opens up with Greg and shares her passion about…growing food as naturally as possible. Her garden is a local marvel with layers upon layers of permaculture techniques in use.  Even though they have known each other for years there is still many new things that Greg learns about Cecilia, including her epic number of compost bins.  Her thirst for knowledge is apparent and her willingness to put into action the nature based education she has gained over the years through various courses and sources is helping her produce dynamic results

Listen in to Learn About:

  • Her youth in Boise Idaho, being the only youth in her family who was interested in gardening
  • Learning about gardening in Austria, where apartment dwellers used the local mountains and everyone gardened
  • Transitioning to gardening in the Phoenix desert with a small garden outside a mobile home
  • Finding a garden mentor with Annette Weaver who was the garden director in the Gentle Strength co-op
  • Learning how to compost, vermiculture, crop rotation, beneficial insects, farmers markets, greenhouse crews, companion planting, and workshops
  • Biodynamic gardening which is planting very intensely in a small space
  • Learning about Permaculture from Greg Peterson and Don Titmus
  • Working with and understanding nature and enhancing nature
  • How she once had a tennis court in her back yard and had to limit her garden, yet now has transformed that space
  • The water conservation methods she is utilizing including rain water harvesting, gutters on several things including her chicken coop, grey water systems, and other cool techniques
  • Her chickens and all the benefits, including the organic methods of raising them
  • Why one of her friends buys Cecilia’s eggs even though she is allergic to eggs, even organic eggs bought in the store 
  • What she means by “beyond organic” and how she does not allow chemicals, even the ‘approved’ ones
  • The amazing number of compost bins that she has and what she puts in them
  • Her own farmer’s market that she set up in her own yard for friends and neighbors
  • The different unique fruits, vegetables, and herbs that she grows and offers along with eggs
  • Lasagna gardening which is composting in place

As well as:

  • What she learned the time she presented a class on container gardening and overwhelmed the students with way too much information
  • How she considers her availability to share what she has learned to be her success
  • How she is driven by knowledge, experience, excitement and being able to help others learn what they can do in a small area
  • Her advice is to find balance in your life and take time to enjoy life

Cecilia’s Recommended Book:

Lasagna Gardening by Patricia Lanza

How to reach Cecilia:

Facebook: Cecilia’s Garden

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