Thursday, March 5, 2009

On Pins and Needles

I'm on pins and needles today. Holding my breath as I wait for a return email from Silver Lake Farms telling me that I'm 'in' the group for private gardening classes the weekend of March 14. Who better to learn the way around my raised beds from than the gardening guru herself, Tara Kolla, Silver Lake Farms founding mother. My head is spinning - breathe already.

My excitement is not unfounded...I discovered Tara and Silver Lake Farms when my own urban garden was in its infancy. Read that as 'all in my head.' I thought it might be a grand idea if I were to actually learn a little bit about growing organic veggies before I took the plunge. I searched for gardening classes in the Los Angeles area via the internet and came up with a rose pruning demonstration at the local Armstrong's Nursery. Not exactly what I had in mind. Smart enough to know that not everyone is born with a green thumb, some of us (hopefully) can learn; I knew I needed to find someone that had experience in organic gardening in an urban setting and was willing to share their knowledge.. My hour long internet search ultimately landed me at the beautiful Silver Lake Farms website. My excitement was dashed however when I saw that all the classes offered that month and the next were full. Sigh.

With the holiday just around the corner I shrugged off the notion of starting an early season crop and rejoiced that at least through the holidays the urgency to get the greenhouse and raised beds built and operational during my vacation had eased. It looked like the gardening gods were showing me that everything takes time. I focused my attention on seed catalogues and how-to books.

It wasn't but a week week later that I found myself at an open house holiday party with my guy up in beautiful Malibu at the home of a very dear friend. We were poured a glass of wine and made our way out onto the balcony that hangs out over the ocean - just feet below us - to watch the sunset. It wasn't long before a young couple joined us. The woman was striking with long dark, wavey hair,olive skin and a great smile. She introduced herself as Tara. She was with very nice looking man. Both had Australian (??) accents. We introduced ourselves and carried on a brief conversation about the beauty of the sunset, the wine and a book my guy had just finished reading called,"Salt." As the other guests floated in and out, our group was separated. In no time, out of the corner of my eye I saw our hostess whisk a new arrival by the arm over toward Tara. I heard her introduce Tara as the woman who 'owns Silver Lake Farms.' Talk about being in the moment. Nothing registered. Tara, Silver Lake Farms. Nothing.

Time passed, we enjoyed visiting with old and new faces until it was time to leave. As we pulled out onto the PCH, I shrieked, "Tara!" "Silver Lake Farms!" "That. Was. Tara. Silver Lake Farms Tara" OMG! My guy thought I had lost my mind. All the way home, I kicked myself for not realizing in the moment that I was talking to the very woman whom I had come to admire through her website and all the work she accomplished. Not to mention that I was totally envious that she was living 'my' perfect life. Thank god she was as nice as I knew she would be!

A few days later I got up the nerve, sent her a note, explained who I was and asked if she could find me a place in the group for her class on organic soil. "Of course!" she replied and I was 'in.' Well, sort of. As the class weekend approached I fell ill and was in bed for the duration. I held onto my spot for as long as I could and then had to let go just in case I was taking a place from someone else just like me...waiting for the email saying 'you're 'in'! Talk about being bummed out.

So now my scheduled has opened up and I've been given a second chance. Of course, my greenhouse is now built, my seedlings are growing (much to my dismay, I admit), the beds are ready to receive them...and I'm ready to learn how to make it all come together successfully. But when that email came last night I jumped on it.

So there you go, that's all I have. It ends here until I get that lucky 'golden ticket' email.

In the meantime, if you're reading this, live in the Los Angeles area and visit the Echo Park, Silver Lake or Hollywood Farmers Markets, do stop by Tara's stall and purchase some of her gorgeous flowers! She's got produce coming soon, too. And OK...Ill make the rush of getting into one her classes even more insane... check out her class schedule, garden design business and Farmers Market schedule at

Maybe I'll see you there!

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