In Troubling Times, an Urban Farmer Says Gardening Can Be a Great Way to Manage Stress

Organic therapy.

In Pomona, north of Los Angeles, an urban farmer is turning water-guzzling lawns and desolate dirt plots into thriving, food-producing gardens. A Diamond Bar-native, self-taught Rishi Kumar has planted an organic nursery of fruit trees, native California plants, vegetables, medical herbs and wildflowers for patrons to pick and purchase by appointment. His plants have attracted a variety of bees, butterflies and birds. According to the Los Angeles Times,” Kumar shares that his water conscious, low waste methods can be created on any scale, any budget with any level of experience.

“‘You can also start composting some of your food scraps at home. We have this idea of waste, that whatever you don’t eat is trash. But when you take that food waste and you say, ‘OK, that’s not waste. This is a gift. And I’m going to give the gifts of my leftovers to my worms, and my worms are going to eat up my leftovers. They’re going to create another gift called worm compost. And I’m going to feed this worm compost to my potted kale plant. My kale plant is going to grow healthier and give me food,’ you’re starting to see that there’s this cycle of gifts. There’s this gift economy that is there, that we have not understood. It’s actually really easy to tap back into that.’”

Read more about Kumar and his urban gardening approach here.