Spotlight: Women Farmers

May 16, 2013

Between soil and sky. That’s where you’ll find urban farmers Michelle Cotton and Tara Kolla on any given day, and it’s precisely where we happened upon them while shooting our June 2012 catalog in the outskirts of Los Angeles. Their small-scale homesteads are delights to behold and each begets a lifestyle so grounded, so natural, so inspiring, we had to share their stories.

Michelle Cotton, Inner Gardens

There’s nary a dull moment at Michelle Cotton’s farm, for it teems with a menagerie of herbs, veggies and too-many-to-count critters. Just as the morning sun crests at Topanga Canyon hills, she’s up and at ˜em, for there are eggs to be collected, cheeses to be made, seedlings to be tended and about a dozen other labors of love. Yes, the plate of this farmer is ever full, but Cotton’s passion is undeniable; at the end of a week filled with hard work and baby goat kisses, she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Tara Kolla, Silverlake Farms
Tara Kolla is something of a pioneer in the urban farming movement: over the last decade, she’s transformed her backyard on the east side of L.A. into a lush and thriving flower garden. The once barren and rock-hard plot now hosts sweet peas, poppies and zinnias aplenty, all grown without the use of chemicals and sold at local farmer’s markets. Of course, the land has left its mark on Kolla, too: her fingers sport a fine film of dirt, while her face carries a sun-kissed smile of content.

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