ARTIST INTERVIEW: Lauri Kranz of Edible Gardens LA
Founded by Lauri Kranz, Edible Gardens LA designs, builds and maintains edible landscapes and vegetable gardens. Lauri believes that spending time in nature is vital for us all and helps to bring good health and a peaceful mind. Their collection of garden to table goods comes both from the heart and the hand, from the gardens and the community that is created through them. You can find them outside on Effie Street at the Spring Fair.
What would you say is the driving force behind your creative work?
In gardens, I want to make something beautiful, to create life where little existed before. One newly planted pomegranate tree can change our perspective. We care for it, watch it grow, follow it through the seasons. A deciduous tree, the pomegranate’s bare, naked branches in winter mark the time of year. In spring, it’s new leaves and swollen buds hold the promise of warmer days; summer brings an explosion of ripening fruit and in the fall we harvest large pomegranates fresh from the tree and feast on their juicy, ruby red seeds.
What criteria do you use to evaluate your own work?
I want the work to bring pleasure. Whether it’s a garden or a hand-built ceramic pitcher or the skin cream I am using to soothe my skin, it needs to feel good, to seduce. I know it’s good if I want to experience it again and again and again.
Do you have a daily working routine? Can you describe it?
I wake up early when it’s still dark outside and begin work. This past year, I worked on the Edible Gardens LA book about how to grow your own food, which will come out next spring. From 4am – 6:30am every morning I sat in the quiet and wrote. It was really a sacred time and the only time where I could get everything down that I wanted to say without distractions. By 6:30am, my house is awake – kids, dogs –you name it! After the kids are off to school, I head out to gardens and spend the rest of the day working the soil, harvesting vegetables and designing and building new gardens.
Do you think community is important to creativity? If so, how?
Oh my goodness, yes! Community is what we need to thrive and grow and create. Our gorgeous candle collaboration with Le Feu De L’eau– all scents created from plants in my gardens – was born out of community. We did a beautiful, naturally dyed dress collaboration with Rachel Craven that came through this special community. Our denim market bag collaboration with Agnes Baddoo has been a favorite of ours since its creation last year. Our chocolate bars with Valerie Confections also came from the connective thread of community. We have a new collaboration with Leaves and Flowers that will debut at the Echo Park Craft Fair in May that came about because of EPCF. We have been set up next to each other at the fair for several seasons now and wanted to create a unique tea together. Now it is happening! I am deeply grateful for this community of makers, artist and soulful humans.