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About Lorin Nielsen

Lorin Nielsen

Lifetime Gardener

Hi! I’m Lorin. As a kid, I planted my first plant under the careful tutelage of my mom. However, the neighbor’s cherry tomatoes were what really had my attention.

The tastiest food is always the stuff you grow yourself… or maybe it’s the stuff you raid from the neighbor’s garden as a kid. Either way, I was hooked from that moment.

For years, I’ve had my hands buried deep in the soil no matter where I was.

While living in an apartment, my balcony was a green spot in an urban landscape. I’ve rented plots at community gardens to grow insanely-tall tomato plants and other food crops. Currently, I’m in the process of reclaiming a weed-filled yard from invasives and turning it into a family food garden.

Since I also happen to be a writer, when I had the chance to dive in and contribute to Epic Gardening, how could I resist?

I’m absolutely thrilled to be able to share all of the great information I’ve accumulated over the years with everyone. No matter if you have a foot of space or an acre, you can grow in it!

Q. What’s your favorite plant?

A. If I absolutely have to pick a favorite plant (and it’s hard!), it’s going to be the tomato plant. They’re the one plant I absolutely must grow every single year. But I love edible gardening in general, because edible plants can produce a gorgeous bed!

Q. What is your “spirit vegetable”?

A. Recently, it’d have to be a potato because I just spent too much of the winter months on my couch. But at least I’m a sweet potato!

Q. What’s the most unusual plant you’ve grown?

A. There’s been quite a few weird ones, but I’ll have to go with a tiny redwood tree in a jar. It was developed from genetic material from a California redwood and was reproduced through splicing in a sterile lab environment.

The sealed jar was its own miniature ecosystem, creating “rain” through moisture evaporation and condensation, and the tree was planted in a nutrient gel. The tree eventually got too large for its jar, and the acclimation to the outside world didn’t go so well. But for nearly a year, I had a tree in a jar!