The King of Edibles: Insiders Know That Jimmy Williams Grows the Best Organic Seedlings in L.A. Now, the New York Fashion Designer Turned SoCal Edibles Grower Wants Everyone to Raise Their Own Food. and He's Coauthored a Book to Show You How

By Williams, Jimmy | Sunset, April 2011 | Go to article overview

The King of Edibles: Insiders Know That Jimmy Williams Grows the Best Organic Seedlings in L.A. Now, the New York Fashion Designer Turned SoCal Edibles Grower Wants Everyone to Raise Their Own Food. and He's Coauthored a Book to Show You How


Williams, Jimmy, Sunset


Q&A with L.A.'s king of edibles, Jimmy Williams

How did you make your career change? A friend in Manhattan who knew I gardened asked me to create a rooftop plot for her. I found that designing edible gardens is similar to designing clothes: Picking the right button for a shirt is like placing the right plant in the right place; if you have a creative eye, you can do it. In the '80s, I moved to Southern California to get married and really got to garden at home. I would give away extra seedlings to neighbors along with unsolicited organic gardening advice--it's the right thing to do for a neighbor. That led to designing edible gardens on the side, and one of my clients happened to be a life coach. I built her garden, and she helped me structure my nursery business and make the jump to doing it full time. I wish I had done it 10 years sooner.

Why grow your own veggies? Fruits and vegetables start to lose flavor and nutrients within an hour of being picked, so it's best to grow them in your own backyard.

What are some lesser-known crops you carry that everyone should try this year? My family heirloom tomato, 'Goosecreek', has a perfect acid-to-sugar balance. As a kid, this was the only one we grew; it's better than 'Brandy-wine'. And I recently developed 'Black Goosecreek'--it's like the original but has a lingering smoky flavor. People should also try the collard green tree, which can reach 10 to 12 feet tall; and 'Incan Giant White'--a pole bean with limas that are four times the size of normal ones! …

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The King of Edibles: Insiders Know That Jimmy Williams Grows the Best Organic Seedlings in L.A. Now, the New York Fashion Designer Turned SoCal Edibles Grower Wants Everyone to Raise Their Own Food. and He's Coauthored a Book to Show You How
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