You take great care of your customers, and we love working with you.”– Peggy, Tualatin
More than a decade ago, we made a big decision: to leave our stressful but comfortable corporate lives behind and to embark on a new journey together. Caroline attended and graduated from culinary school, we got married, and then we took a year off to travel the world and to think about the future and our role in it.
By the end of 2008, our vision became clear and a new company was born. Verdura Culinary Gardens was conceived as a way to combine our many years of organic gardening experience with our culinary expertise to help people eat better and live more sustainably. Our goal: to bring simplicity and productivity to new and experienced vegetable gardeners by providing valuable knowledge, services and products.
Verdura, by the way, means “vegetable” in Italian and Spanish, as well as Portuguese.
Since then, our small company grew steadily in Portland, even with the tough economic times we all endured in recent years. (Some have argued that we grew precisely because of tough times.) In five growing seasons, we installed 273 raised beds for 113 clients, resulting in more than 7,900 square feet of intensively planted gardens producing nearly year-round. Our local services expanded to include planting fruit trees and berry bushes, and we developed new products like a cold frame to further extend our Pacific Northwest growing season.
We are proud of the now nine year-old community garden program we created to benefit participants of Birch Community Services Inc., a local food bank dedicated to helping the working poor in the Portland metro area. We developed three large gardens for BCSI, the most recent of which produced a record 3,025 pounds of organic produce in 2013, all of it donated to the food bank.
Our reach has also expanded considerably beyond Portland with the creation of downloadable plans for our most popular designs for raised bed frames, copper and steel trellises, drip irrigation systems, and garden planting plans. We now focus our efforts on developing and selling these products, as well as on providing consulting services to aspiring urban gardening companies around the country. We no longer operate a local installation and maintenance business in Portland, Oregon.