What to plant: Five edible picks from Lauri Kranz


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Lauri Kranz, who has built a following as an edible gardening consultant in the Hollywood Hills, shares her five favorite picks of the moment: Dragon’s tongue beans, Ananas Noire tomatoes, cucumbers, butternut squash and country gentleman corn. Keep reading for why she likes these crops, and where she goes to get seeds and seedlings.

Dragon’s tongue beans: Purple-striped pods are crisp, juicy and beautiful. Sellers include one of Kranz’s favorites, the nonprofit Seed Savers Exchange.


Ananas Noire tomatoes: A variety that produces a lot of fruit and is delicious in sauces. Kranz likes it sliced thick and served with olive oil. Among the sources: Sunset Nursery for seedlings and Seed Savers Exchange for seeds. Tomatomania!

Cucumbers: Kranz gets seeds from Renee’s Garden or Botanical Interests. For 13 types of Asian cucumbers: Kitazawa Seed Co.

Butternut squash: Kranz plants these on staggered weeks, so as summer ends, the squash ripen in succession. Franchi has a nice variety.

Country gentleman corn: Flavorful white corn whose kernels grow in a random mosaic instead of tidy rows. Available from heirloom seed sources (including Seed Savers Exchange) or as seedlings in some nurseries.

Other picks from Kranz, who runs Edible Gardens LA:

At the Hollywood Farmers’ Market: Peter Lee and heirloom specialists Logan and Jimmy Williams.

At the Santa Monica Farmers Market: Arugula seeds from James Birch of Flora Bella Farm, garlic from Schaner Farms, potatoes and sunchokes from Weiser Family Farms.

For raised beds: Minifarmbox

Favorite soil: E.B. Stone Edna’s Best Potting Soil for raised beds, Green All by E.B. Stone for amendments.


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— Jeff Spurrier

Photo at top: Lauri Kranz in the enclosed edible garden of clients Joseph and Ambre Dahan. Credit: Ann Summa