August 1, 2011

KCET Presents a ‘How-To’ Special on Starting Your Own Vegetable Garden in ‘The Edible Garden: Breaking Ground’ Airing August 16 at 8 p.m.

Robust web component launched in conjunction with the show at featuring video gardening tips, new blog and more

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- KCET SoCal Connected anchor Val Zavala, hosts a special program spurred by the growing popularity of vegetable gardening across Southern California, airing August 16 at 8 p.m. on KCET. The Edible Garden: Breaking Ground is an informative "starter kit" for anyone who has been thinking of joining the grow-your-own movement.


Zavala gathers advice and knowledge from seven expert Southern California gardeners and a beekeeper, who together will inspire viewers to dig in and get their garden off to the right start. Viewers will discover they don't need a backyard to have a thriving edible garden.

Gardens come in all shapes, sizes and locations, from pots to community plots.

In The Edible Garden: Breaking Ground master gardeners will show how they turn sun, soil and seeds into success. They will explain how to lay out a garden, create nourishing compost, how to choose the right crops and enhance productivity. They will also explain ideal watering methods, chemical-free pest control, organic fertilizing and how to harvest your crops correctly.

"People are looking for ways to save money, eat healthy organic food, and get in touch with nature," said Zavala. "I could see this in the number of vegetable gardens cropping up across Southern California - in community gardens, on rooftops, at schools, in front yards, in containers, even alongside the curb."

Viewers Participate Online

The Edible Garden: Breaking Ground offers a robust web component at When the show airs, it will also be simulcast online allowing visitors to chat live with the program's master gardeners as they watch. Also available on the KCET website are short video segments on gardening tips with Zavala, as well as a DVD of the show for a donation of $40.

In addition, the special area on the website includes a web series called "Sustaining LA," featuring stories on food, gardeners and green movement activists as well as a newly launched blog on food and farming.

Expert gardeners who appear on the show include:

  • Kwaku Annor - A master gardener in Mar Vista who tends plots at the Ocean View Farms community garden.
  • Kirk Anderson - Co-founder of Backwardsbeekeepers in Silverlake. They rescue hives and introduce them into gardens.
  • Piper Goldstein - A front yard and backyard gardener who also runs the small corner market, Atwater Village Farm.
  • Milli Macen-Moore - A master gardener in Glassell Park who gardens in partial shade.
  • Florence Nishida - A master gardener and teacher who oversees the edible garden at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles.
  • Armida and Paul Robles-Ishii - Husband and wife master gardeners and teachers in La Crescenta who garden on terraces.

The growing interest in gardening can be seen in waiting lists for some community gardens that are 500 names long. The National Gardening Association reports that a well-maintained vegetable garden will yield a $500 average return per year.

The Edible Garden: Breaking Ground is reported and produced by Val Zavala. Associate Producer is Angela Boisvert. The Executive Producers are Caroline Armitage and Bohdan Zachary. The Edible Garden: Breaking Ground airs Tuesday, August 16 at 8 p.m. on KCET.

About KCET

On-air, online and in the community, KCET plays a vital role in the cultural and educational enrichment of Southern and Central California. KCET currently produces the Emmy®, duPont-Columbia and Peabody Award-winning SoCal Connected, a hard-hitting prime-time weekly television news program that examines the issues and people of Southern California. Throughout its more than 40-year history, KCET has won hundreds of major awards for its local and regional news and public affairs programming, its national drama and documentary productions, its quality educational family and children's programs, its outreach and community services and its website, KCET is a donor-supported community institution. More than half of the funds raised to support KCET's operating budget come from individual support. For additional information about KCET productions, Web-exclusive content, programming schedules and community events, please visit