By Maleeka Marsden
With runoff polluting the ocean and droughts demanding stipulations on water use, Revolution Landscape has come to the rescue by offering La Jollans the opportunity to start living more eco-friendly lifestyles.
The local company aims to provide San Diegans with yards that use native and edible plants, thus reducing water use, bearing a weekly basket of organic produce, and restoring native habitat.
Recent UC Santa Cruz graduates Ari Tenenbaum, a plant science major, and Jeff Robbins, a business major, founded the business together last spring with the plan to apply their skills to something the community needed. They have five other employees, all college students or graduates.
Tenenbaum said that while many people want gardens, they do not have the knowledge to create and maintain them properly and efficiently. He added that drought-tolerant plants and irrigation systems can reduce the amount of water used on landscapes by up to 60 percent.
One of their clients, Heather Bowden, uses Revolution for three of her rental properties.
“We were very interested in finding a landscape company whose mission involved water conservation, native plants and edible gardens. Revolution provided that and more. Their designs are unique.”
As part of the team’s services, which include design and construction, its maintenance plan includes a harvested basket of your fresh fruits and vegetables on your doorstep.
“It’s cool to see where the food is actually coming from because we’re so disconnected from it,” Robbins said.
As for keeping the plants pesticide-free, they use specific plants that foster a natural ecosystem and as a result keep plant-munching bugs under wraps.
Tenenbaum says that many people do not make the connection between the pesticides used in their conventional mow-and-blow gardens and the runoff that goes into the ocean.
They also use natural substances such as beer to keep the bugs distracted.
“The ants prefer Natural Ice,” Tenenbaum joked.
While some La Jollans might be concerned about the loss of their green lawns, the edible gardens double as beautiful yards with blueberry hedges lining entryways, nasturtiums adorning front steps, and herb gardens bordered with logs recycled from the site.
Bowden said the landscapes are beautiful, organized and progressive and “look like no other.”
As for the future, the company hopes to become an educational resource for the community, as well as “become the leading landscaping company in San Diego with regards to organic urban farming and ecology restoration,” Robbins said.
They say they also are planning on turning the company’s large gas-guzzler to run on biodiesel.
The company has a stand at the La Jolla Open Aire Market the first, third and fifth (when there is one) Sundays of every month where it sells edible plants and is available to give advice or answer any questions.