Serena’s love of nature and plants began in childhood, growing up on her parent’s ranch in the semi-desert of Southern California, and listening to her mother’s stories about her grandfather’s large farm in Germany. She helped plant, water and care for hundreds of trees and shrubs growing on the ranch. She also gained a significant appreciation for water, as there was a very limited supply from only the wells on the property.
After attending Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, Serena started an organic family garden. “My mother gave me a subscription to Organic Gardening Magazine in the 1960’s, which I avidly read. I then applied what I learned in my own organic home garden. I wanted good, pure food for my children and enjoyed gardening with them, watching them crawl down the rows when they were very young.”
After moving to a larger property, Serena’s garden grew into a certified organic farm, and she was soon providing fine quality organic produce to local health food stores, restaurants and private customers throughout San Diego County. Her specialties included heirloom lettuce, tomato varieties, and elephant garlic.
Serena has always believed that growing plants naturally — without using toxic pesticides or herbicides, and planting with organically grown open-pollinated seed to protect and promote genetic diversity — is by far the best way to produce our food. She believes plants grown from organic seed and by natural methods are better and healthier in every way, because that form of agriculture is the best stewardship of the land; promoting both our personal health and the long term health and preservation of our natural resources.
Presently Serena’s focus is helping others learn how to garden successfully. “I believe everyone should have the knowledge to grow their own food. Even if they don’t have the time and space for a large garden, it can still be rewarding to cultivate a small garden in containers. Teaching our children where their food comes from is invaluable as well, for they are the future. My mission is to reconnect people with the source of their food.”
Serena’s healthy, vigorous “starter” plants provide a jump start on growing and encouragement for new gardeners to succeed. “It is heartening to meet so many people who want to learn how to grow their own food, especially young children.”
By offering open-pollinated plants grown from organic seed, Serena encourages customers to save seeds and keep heirloom varieties in production, so our agricultural heritage will not be lost.