Edible Gardens LA Founder Lauri Kranz and Jenna discuss our innate connection to nature, the transformative impact it has on our happiness and wellbeing, and how the lessons it offers can help us live a more mindful and fulfilling life.
Our Path Back To Nature
This spring was my family’s first living in the valley north of Los Angeles, where we were awestruck by the wildflowers that cover the mountains. Last month, I had the privilege of spending time with a woman who played her own small role in that spectacular blossoming, Lauri Kranz, the founder of Edible Gardens LA. I was taken back by the beauty of what she shared when we spoke about embracing wildness…
“Every year around Halloween, I cast thousands of wildflower seeds in every open patch of land I see. For months, it looks like nothing is happening. Then, the rain comes and in early spring you start to see all kinds of awakenings; The seeds that I threw have now turned into magnificent wildflowers of all different kinds…So many things have happened in life since I threw them; There’s been joy and sadness, successes and failures. But, every spring those wildflowers pop up. It’s so beautiful and reassuring…It feels like a wild imagination streak in me.”
Lauri does extraordinarily important work here in LA creating gardens for families, at schools, museums, and restaurants, where she not only teaches people how to grow their own food, but more importantly, helps them embark on our collectively vital return to nature. “In the history of civilization, we spend the least amount of time outside,” she says. “What the earth wants and what our bodies and our spirits want is to be connected, in this case reconnected, to where we all come from…We are not apart from nature. We are a part of nature.”
I was moved by Lauri’s perspective on our innate connection to the world around us and grateful for the lessons we can gain by simply being present to it. I've been reflecting on many since our conversation, which I’m excited to share here. You can learn more about Lauri’s inspiring journey in our podcast, and be sure to follow her on Instagram to see her magnificent gardens.
Spend time in nature every day
Lauri believes, and has written a book, that A Garden Can Be Anywhere. Whether you’re growing a basil plant on your windowsill or have raised beds in your backyard, the impact of growing your own food spans far wider than the fresh produce you’ll share with your family.
Lauri’s clients describe that having a garden has completely changed their life; Most significantly, in creating new routines, allowing them to carve out time to connect with themselves and their loved ones, while also spending time in nature. Many start their day tending to their gardens as they sip their coffee, whilst others savor “the magic hour” as the sun sets. This lifestyle teaches you to live seasonally and celebrate life, as well as become more present, connected, and grateful.
Nature is also essential to our mental, emotional, and physical health. “The more time we spend in nature the healthier we become,” Lauri says. “Nature settles our mind and spirit. Depression, anxiety and sleeplessness have been scientifically found to be healed simply by being outdoors.”
Learn to let go
Lauri has admirably dedicated a significant amount of her life to teaching children how to garden, be it in the curriculums she creates at schools or with the many families she works with. She begins by sharing the 20% rule with them: Once you plant your seed you have to accept that 20% of its bounty will go to wildlife.
“Nature reminds us that we have to let go of the idea that we can control everything,” she says. “Sometimes the weather turns and the cherries fall before you can harvest them or a critter takes the corn you’ve tended to for so long. This process teaches us that there is no such thing as perfection, in nature and in life. Let go, and be present for what is.”
Be courageous enough to change your life
The willingness to let go is central to the personal transformation that led Lauri to found Edible Gardens. After a period of sustained unhappiness, she decided it was time to make a change. Here’s an inspiring excerpt on how she did it and you can too…
“The process of changing your life is so scary. It’s a lesson of letting go…Of preconceived notions, of what you thought was going to be, of what your hopes and expectations were. It is a necessary and excruciating process.
You have to let go of unhappiness so you can welcome happiness, and that starts with first welcoming change.
If we don’t welcome change and let fear takeover, we are stuck. We don’t have enough time on this earth to spend it being stuck.
But, when we choose to welcome change, then everything is possible, isn’t it?
I believe there is something bigger than us that when we shift our paths for the good the universe supports us by opening new doors…When I made changes, I found this extraordinary support system and everything kept moving forward…It made me feel like like I was making the choices I was meant to make.”
Invest in what matters
Of all the advice I’ve heard in my life, these three words from Lauri resonate most: Invest in love.
There will never be a greater return than that of investing our hearts, energy, and time in love. I hope her beautiful words may inspire you to do the same.
“Invest in love.
Invest in the people you love. Invest in your work, in your home, in anything that fills you with love and joy…in the things that matter.
It’s easy to get trapped in negative feelings. Just let go of them and invest in the love around you. Love is what changes us.
Life changes. But, if we are always connecting through love and investing in love our lives will always be rich.”