When Marcela Valladolid came to us with her kitchen garden request, we knew we had our work cut out for us! Marcela is a chef and co-host of “The Kitchen” on the Food Network. Her enthusiasm for food extends to her lush Urban Plantations garden, often showcased on her popular Instagram feed and highlighted in her new book, Casa Marcela: Recipes and Food Stories of My Life in the Californias.
We transformed Marcela’s bare backyard into an organic growing pantry that includes a haven for beneficial insects and pollinators. Eight raised beds are surrounded by lush citrus and fragrant rosemary. Each plant finds its way into a breakfast smoothie or dinner plate in “Casa Marcela.” She uses herbs so regularly that we added two in-ground beds and filled them with more of her favorites: oregano, yerba buena, chamomile, and espazote. Seasonally, we refresh beds and add new plants to feed Marcela’s family and incite her culinary imagination.