I met Ben Nardinelli about three years ago at a San Francisco Bay/East Bay Urban Farm tour. The farm tour, set up by Ruby at the¬†Institute for Urban Homesteading, visited a number of urban farms in the Berkeley and Oakland border area. We were stopped at Wanda Stewart’s farm that day. It’s amazing what you can grow and how productive a space can be, even a front and side yard in a modest home in the East Bay. Wanda does an amazing job and does so much for the community, but I’ll leave that post for another day.

I met Ben briefly and we exchanged contact info in order to tour each others greenhouses and gardens. Well, about three years later, I finally met Ben after going through some old emails and stumbling upon our initial contact. I wrote Ben a quick note and boy am I glad I did. Ben came up to MariLark to visit our “Farm” and I was eager to see his garden as well. When you work on your home, your daily passions become part of the fabric of the place and that is certainly the case with Ben’s garden. He and his wife and their young daughter live in a beautiful wood shingled home with craftsmanship to match. But it is the “hidden garden” that I came to see and Ben and his garden certainly did not disappoint.