When it comes to encouraging residential and commercial customers to garden, Farmscape has risen in the ranks along the West Coast. As edible landscaping continues to become more mainstream, more farm-to-table systems are being introduced to draw in consumers.
Established in 2009, Farmscape is the largest urban farming community on the West Coast and is currently working on expanding farther east. Whether it’s for individual homes, corporations, agrihoods or industrial parks, Farmscape works to establish logical, feasible and beneficial gardens for consumers and the environment.
“Farmscape is absolutely unique, as we’re an urban farming community and it’s pretty much an untapped industry,” said Lara Hermanson, principal of Farmscape.
“Employees and residents can gain the benefits of de-stressing by working in the gardens, learning a thing or two about our drip irrigation systems and price effective approach, which is 25 percent less than standard landscaping maintenance.”
Hermanson began her journey with Farmscape in 2010, and her love of all things landscaping started as a child. As the Farmscape principal, she is responsible for overseeing the full design and installation of their gardens.
Since the company first launched, Hermanson says that Farmscape has planted vegetable beds for over 700 customers, 300 of which are actively maintained by Farmscape farmers.
“Individuals may grow fruit trees or plant vegetable seeds in their own gardens but when’s the last time you saw a thriving exterior where a local farmer and the homeowner are working together in the back yard?” Hermanson asked. “Or seen a lush series of vegetable beds in the gardens of an office location, where employees are picking carrots to take home for the weekend?”
Hermanson says that the greatest benefit of partnering with Farmscape is that customers receive an attractive edible garden that lets them eat everything that is produced.
Hermanson says that once landscape gardeners have created the final approved design plans, Farmscape can then plant the vegetable beds according to the design. Once they are installed, Farmscape can then maintain the beds regularly.
“We discuss the crop cycles with the property owners based on seasonal trends, add native plants that sustain local climates and encourage employees and residents to enjoy working with the farmers,” Hermanson said. “Nearly every garden we’ve planted has grown rapidly in expansion over time, based on the pure attraction and food benefits it provides.”
To date, Hermanson says that the most common request made for residential projects is the for well executed drip irrigation to eliminate blossom end rot, blight and mildew.
Contrary to other landscaping projects, Hermanson says that customers are encouraged to dig and weed alongside the farmers as they install the gardens. This ensures that the customers learn about the crops and how they are maintained, and that they gain knowledge on the environmentally-friendly procedures used by Farmscape.
“While working together, we’ll explain how seasonal produce flourishes, the best trees that create home efficiency and how drip irrigation works,” Hermanson said. “Then there’s the added benefit of exercising in their garden, proving to be heart healthy and reducing stress levels.”
As stated previously, Farmscape works to ensure their projects are beneficial, logical and feasible to not only the customers, but also to the environment. Hermanson says that this theology partnered with the lower maintenance cost has helped make Farmscape something the public has shown more interest in over the years.
“Farmscape has been involved in various local council meetings, during the planning, decision-making stage and locals attend these,” Hermanson said. “They always give a thumbs up in support of what we’re doing as we’re a rare attribute to the community.”
Along with the aforementioned benefits, Hermanson says that properly maintained and eye-catching landscapes have also been economically validated as adding up to 28 percent returns on investment (ROI) on properties.
While they may be located in both northern and southern California, Hermanson says that Farmscape has also begun maintaining gardens in Nevada and Texas, and more inquiries have come in from all around the country. For those outside the West Coast, fear not; Farmscape is ready and willing to help build and maintain dream gardens wherever they are called.
“Our unique set up is attributed to the local farmers in each region,” Hermanson said. “Not only do we give these farmers additional business, but the property owners know that a local farmer is always available to them in maintaining the beds, orchards and vineyards.”