175: Kaye Kittrell on Urban Gardening.

Discovering organic gardening alongside a determined learner.


kaye-kitrellIn the fall of 2011, Kaye converted the front yard and parkway of her home in Pacific Palisades, CA, into an edible garden. She removed all non-edible grass, small trees and bushes that occupied approximately 300 square feet of valuable sunny area, and planted citrus trees and herbs. In April 2012, Kaye began her urban garden blog, “Late Bloomer Show”, sharing her results with other urban gardeners, food bloggers and family farmers. With her photography skills and on-camera likeability from 30 years as a working actor in New York and Hollywood, Kaye created a web show, also titled “Late Bloomer,” chronicling her discovering how to grow food. A year later, her summer garden produced over 150 lbs. of produce, about 40 percent of which was given away. She also wrote her first e-book, “10 Steps to a Great First Garden.”
And, in 2015, Kaye created her first DVD, “Growing Heirloom Tomatoes,” a compilation of her five-part series on YouTube.  “Late Bloomer” now has 96 episodes on YouTube and in 2015 won Best Edutainment Series at Miami Web Fest 2015. In 2016, Kaye added a vlog to the channel, which includes 50 videos and offers Kaye an opportunity to visit and share other gardens and urban farms with her audience.  Kaye’s goal is to inspire anyone to grow their own food and take charge of their food security.

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In this podcast: Greg chats with a new friend Kaye, a recent convert to organic gardening who has been chronicling her challenges and amazing successes in her small garden.  Living in California on the beach has it benefits, but it also comes with a challenging microclimate due to early morning fogs that limit the sun to her small garden. Kaye shares how she was inspired to start a vlog about her learning curve and has won several accolades for her work. She is still learning, but she is willing to share both the challenges and the answers she is finding on this new journey to food security.


Listen in and learn about:

  • Her epiphany while digging in her parkway
  • The day she was put under a spell to only plant edibles
  • She was so new to gardening that she did not know the difference between annual and perennial
  • How she came to name her show “Late Bloomer”
  • The 150 lbs of produce she grew in the first year
  • The positive results she got from her first videos that encouraged her to put them on dvds
  • What she focuses on in her shows
  • How she brings her photography skills into the show as well
  • How she started her web show with no models to follow
  • Web festivals and how this genre has grown so much
  • Her first vlog episodes that she edited herself
  • Her experience meeting people in Arizona and visiting the Urban Farm
  • How she is sharing her new knowledge and encouraging others to start gardening
  • Some of the people who have cheered her on like Jacq Davis and the Biodynamic Farmer
  • How she has been inspired by Vandana Shiva who is fighting for the future of seed
  • And Ron Finley the Los Angeles Garden Guru
  • The biggest change in her life which is feeling the impact of actually inspiring people
  • Being contact by teenage boys around the world who are growing their own food and getting excited about having their own garden
  • Her concern for sun in her microclimate which is very limited at her place
  • Why powdery mildew is such a problem for her at the beach
  • Why she is not getting any olives
  • Her experience to get wood chips on her property, and what she is seeing now that she has them
  • Why food security is to her and why it is an issue that she cares about
  • Why buying food at the store can make a difference with some knowledge about seeds
  • The interview she did with Mike the Gardener and learning from him
  • Early childhood memories with both of her grandmothers

As well as:

  • Her failure – planting a fig tree and overwatering due to inexperience and learning vigilance and observance
  • Her success – the 2014 tomato harvest, and the edible food garden for almost 5 years without any issues with her neighbors
  • Her drive – her interest in trying new plant, the challenge of getting things to grow in her garden space, and getting to see new miracles
  • Her advice – don’t give up, jump in and don’t worry about making a mistake, believe that if you care the plants will thrive

Kaye’s Book recommendations:      

Golden Gate Gardening: The Complete Guide to Year-Round Food Gardening in the San Francisco Bay Area & Coastal California by Pamela Peirce

How to reach Kaye:  

Website: Latebloomershow.com

UrbanFarm.org/latebloomer


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