Debi van Zyl



A few changes are afoot here. I'll be slow to roll them out, but bear with me; they're coming and I think they're rather exciting.

First things first: The Martha Stewart American Made Awards named their ten winners last week, and alas, the beasts and I didn't win a spot. Life goes on and I've been enjoying reading up on the winners. Talented bunch!

Left: Composting at  Detroit Dirt . Right: Erin Benzakein of  Floret .

Left: Composting at Detroit Dirt. Right: Erin Benzakein of Floret.

My favorites so far are Detroit Dirt and Floret. Maybe it's because I yearn to have a garden of my own, yearn to compost and grow our own food and surround ourselves with plants that give us beauty and fuel. Having lived in Los Angeles for over 16 years without any real garden predisposes me to want to climb through my computer monitor and into the lives of these gardening champions and get my hands dirty.

I'm so inspired by Pashon Murray and Detroit Dirt's quest "to turn forgotten parcels of land in Detroit into urban farms that not only feed, but revitalize our community." I love the full circle of composting and the very local and immediate benefits. Pashon is the face of the operation and also starred in that great reactionary car commercial earlier this year.

The story of Floret and the Benzakein family is a dream of mine. Erin Benzakein and her family "left the hustle and bustle of the city and moved to the Skagit Valley to pursue a slower, simpler and more intentional lifestyle for our little family. We dreamed of eating fresh vegetables from our garden, tending a flock of chickens and maybe one day planting a small orchard." I love Los Angeles, I really really do, and I love cities as a rule, but there is a country mouse inside me that wants the slower, simpler country life. And to be able to make a living out of that? That would be truly amazing.

All this leads me to my second topic of the day, which is that my husband and I have been hatching a plan to get our hands on a little piece of dirt that we can take care of and grow. Sure, it'll take a little while, but a real plan is in motion. The motivation comes from many places and I am reminded by these two women (urban and rural) and their inspiring businesses that
getting my hands dirty is going to feel so good! And so here's a big congratulations to them both,
as well as to all the other American Made winners!

Debi van Zyl1 Comment