garden party with the babes:


I’ve been working with Kelsey at Trader Joe’s for a little over two years now. In that time, I’ve seen her grow from a quirky 20 year old to a rad mom of little dude, Braddocks and a full-time psychology student at UC San Marcos.

We started chatting more frequently last summer over a shared obsession with Lady of the Lake and oracle cards (that’ll be a post for a different day). She shared with me that these interests, along with her Eco-Feminism class for school, opened her eyes to home gardening, and in turn, a healthier lifestyle for herself and baby B.

I got to visit the two at their home last week to see what they’d been up to, and I was pleasantly surprised. Kelsey has carefully mapped out her yard according to the amount of sun each area gets in a day. Rows of delicately placed fruits, vegetables and herbs line half the vicinity, while tomatoes stand guard next to the fence. She’s placed potted succulent gardens throughout the opposite end of the yard, along with a beautiful apple tree her grandmother planted some years ago. Braddock wanders around with a small shovel in his hand, happy as can be. It’s beautiful. And its only just begun.

Kelsey told me her main reason for starting the garden was to teach Braddocks about sustainability and hard work. Yes, she knows he’s only a toddler, but she believes what is instilled in him now will continue throughout his life. Connecting with one’s environment and being fully aware of what you put into your body is so important. Kelsey also told me that she hopes having good eating habits now will help him with choices in the future. Their diet is mainly vegetarian, using organic produce (or produce from their garden) as often as possible.

Gardening in the backyard has been a spiritual experience for Kelsey as well. “It’s inspiring to see something grow from a tiny seed to something you can eat. It’s been so therapeutic for me.” She pointed out the strawberry plant and said that each morning her and B go outside to see if any berries have arrived. Braddocks gets to pick out and munch on any newbies for the day. “It’s become almost a ritual for us. Before we eat breakfast, we go outside to water the garden and he immediately b-lines to the strawberry plant. He loves it.”

What’s next for the garden? A chicken coop, naturally.

She lowers her voice at the end of my evening with the two and tells me of a few tricks up her sleeve to keep the garden in check. “Organic moisture control compost and coffee grounds from work,” she says. “Oh, and if you’re too impatient to wait for seeds to sprout, you can always buy the potted herbs from Trader Joes instead.”

Kelsey inspired me in a lot of ways that evening. Her passion for giving life to something, and her passion for wanting to share that with her son is remarkable. It gives me hope for future generations. I don’t have children of my own yet, but I am confident that when I do, I will be gardening with my little ones because of her.

Happy Earth Day to you and your loved ones. If you can’t plant something today, at least take in the fresh air and fill your body with healthy choices. And remember to always RAISE GOOD HUMANS.


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