After years spent building custom MinifarmBox cedar-raised beds and planters for gardeners who are inspired to grow their own food, Conor Fitzpatrick wanted to do something extra for the community.
"I wanted to create a hub that allowed people to get more connected with the earth," he said, "a place to learn, grow and get new ideas for living more sustainably."
On March 5, Fitzpatrick opened Fig Earth Supply, a weekends-only nursery pop-up that offers organic edible seedlings, soil and fertilizer, pots and planters and Japanese tools.
Staged in an empty tool yard in Mt. Washington, the nursery sells seedlings that are grown from open pollinated seeds and are propagated by biodynamic gardener Loretta Allison of Spade and Seeds, a Los Angeles-based urban farm.
On a recent visit, Fitzpatrick had an interesting assortment of vegetables, culinary and medicinal herbs, including indigo Blue Berries tomatoes, Ligurian basil — what he likes to call "the Italian connoisseur's basil" — new Zealand spinach, Persian cucumbers and Mexican sour Gherkin cucumbers.
Fitzpatrick is friendly and passionate about what he does and offers advice on how to plant a successful garden. He suggested that I plant my tomatoes deep below the ground for best results, as the buried stems create better roots. Two weeks later, I can confirm that he was right.
"Connor's energy and enthusiasm for gardening and the garden community as a whole is palpable," said Scott Daigre who hosted his popular Tomatomania pop-up at Fig Earth Supply in March.
"In an age when nurseries are disappearing from the city landscape, they are truly a bright spot in the neighborhood," Daigre continued. "They make a real difference, proving that gardening is possible and growing food for yourself is rewarding on even a small scale."
Fitzpatrick plans to host free weekly classes and workshops on composting, water harvesting and succession planting, among others, and hopes to add kombucha tea-making in the future. On Saturday, Celena De Luna and Sheerlie Ryngler will host "Seeing Plants as Medicine: A Beginner's Herbalism Workshop" from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
"I just want to create one of those places that is for the community and all the information is free," he said.
Asked about growing edibles during a drought, Fitzpatrick said he doesn't feel guilty. "Growing vegetables with drip irrigation is the most water-efficient way to grow plants," he explained. "You can grow a 4-by-8-foot bed with what it takes to flush the toilet one time."
Fig Earth Supply, 3577 N. Figueroa St., Mount Washington. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. (323) 224 3938.