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2014 Time to WIN with Gardens of California

$100.00 / $25.00 .. can be yours!

It's time to celebrate our new customers! This fun and "giving" giveaway is designed to do just that.

Starting January 16th, 2014, every 20th jacket or dress that is sold will be mailed with $100.00's in the pocket. That's right! If your order is the 20th consecutive order for a jacket or dress, you will find $100.00's in the pocket of your purchase. Every time 20 more are sold another $100.00's will be gifted! If it is the 40th or 60th ... you will win.

Starting January 16th, 2014, every 20th, 40th, 60th .... book sold will be mailed with $25.00 in it! You have to love this!

HOW LUCKY WILL YOU BE! In the meantime, take a moment to view this video and find out what we are all about!



 Visit at http://www.gardensofcalifornia.com

Guidelines: Refunds / returns will not be counted. Offer good for current inventory levels. Offer does not include scarf! Gardens of California holds exclusive right to modify this post / offer at any time. Purchases prior to this date do not apply! COME have some fun!



Basic Gardening Guidelines


1. Grow clean .. no pesticides or herbicides that will harm you or OUR environment.

2. Grow what you like to eat ... explore and enjoy!

3. Remember beauty comes from within and is just a bite away when you grow at home.

4. Bring your children to the garden .. teach them well!

5. Put your own brand in your cupboards and freezer by preserving your garden extras.

6. Grow by and for example in your neighborhood so others may find their own garden spirit!

7. Eat well, be well, live well.

Gardens of California Harvest July 22nd, 2013



In gratitude,

Bridget Guzzi
Gardens of California ® LLC

At Home in Your Vegetable Garden

Dear Guests,

Garden designs and costs vary with the size and scope of any one project. This particular garden project I would like to share with you was once a 25  ' x 25 ' front lawn and is now adorned with fruit trees, vegetables and flowers. The garden was introduced for demonstration purposes. The objective behind this project was to introduce  increased awareness about organic edible gardening, land improvement initiatives and to chase the pest / herbicide trucks out of the area. Following is a brief overview of the project and summary of costs.

Projects this size require time, effort and dollars to get started. Although this is true, the return on each of these investments is very worthy.

This project that started in 2008 was updated in 2012 to demonstrate at home edible gardening at its best.  The first step was to remove the lawn. By shovel and hoe I dug the sod filling 2 large waste bins that were removed by truck. I selected a local  high compost well fed earth to fill the area back in.  It has continued to produce for me up to present, 2013. The soil is heavy with worms and has had no pesticide or herbicide added to it. It is organic, live, free and clean earth. Good soil was the primary objective to this project knowing the rest would follow.  Fashionable permaculture homemade soil, like lasagna layering, is also an option but requires more time. 
Wanting to impress efficiency into the project to keep up with the neighborhood appeal, I chose the former. The garden has been well received by neighbors. I also keep the yard area and common areas clean in respect of property value to myself and others.

The garden beds are made at home and all are open for continued soil health and light weight for movement if desired. The beds have raised posts to which I attach shade cloth when the temperatures soar.  The fruit trees will provide shade once mature. Succession planting and rotation of plants compliments a continued food source.

The layout you see below is modified as seasons progress. An irrigation system is in place with both drip and overhead. Overhead is best used in the morning as afternoon winds drag and dry the water before it hits the ground. The garden is tended by hand 90 + % of the time including hand watering. Drought and water dependent plants do co-exist when managed in this manner. Compost piles are placed in a new spot each year and each garden source considered for use. Organic bone and blood meals are the choice of fertilizer. Food that is grown is eaten fresh in season and when in abundance, the food is frozen and gifted. I have come to find eating in season quite fashionable.

There are numerous garden designs available. Thank you for letting me share my blueprint. The approximate cost of this garden space was $1,500.00 not including labor. This includes the cost of soil removal, new soil,  beds, trees, a new irrigation system and initial seeds and plants.  In closing, saved seeds, compost and mere propagation once you get started will keep your garden environment safe and growing.

25 x 25 Front West Garden / Lawn Replacement

 
Asparagus 12 x 13 bed

Peas 11 x 12 bed


Pomegranate  In ground                                                   Pomegranate In ground

Peppers 7 x 2  bed                                           Zucchini / Spinach 7 x 2 bed

      Tomato   4 x 4 bed                                                          Tomato 4 x 4 bed

Pomegranate In Ground

Sweet Potato 18 x 2 bed

Apricot  In ground                                                   Apricot In ground

Herbs, Succulents, Flowers In ground




Melon favorites are planted in between this layout to eventually cover the open ground area.
And so on and so on .. A constant giving and taking!
Additional gardens are in production on my land with various nutritious foods.
With Gratitude,
Bridget Guzzi
Gardens of California ® LLC
gardensofcalifornia.com

Roses and Valentine's Day

Gardens of California, rose pruning, certified organic garden apparel for women and children<< MORE >>

The Pumpkin Birthday

Welcome to My Blog

Bridget Guzzi, Owner, Gardens of California

As excitement for home edible gardens "grows" I would like to share how much beauty and fun can be derived from one heirloom seed.


Let us pretend that this 16 lb.pumpkin grown from one heirloom seed is ready for a  day at the ...

<< MORE >>

Sustainable Cost of Made In America

Sustainable Cost of Made in America

by
 Bridget Guzzi, Owner, Gardens of California www.gardensofcalifornia.com
April 2, 2012

AS a new age entrepreneur, one who drafted a business plan based on both profit and sustainability, I have come to see firsthand, much of what is taking place in the small caverns of American business as it relates to sustainability and new growth.

Being associated equally with not and for profit sustainable groups, I have come to respect and learn what lies beneath each. Interestingly, what I have found is that the goal of either is the same; which is to bring profit to that in which one believes. Be it in dollars or sense, cause or wallet, the bottom line is to attain a goal. This brings me to define my own company as it relates to both its for profit status and brand.

Sifting through the so called green, eco friendly and organic scenes over the last years has proven to be one of the most interesting rides of my life. 

On one hand I have seen tempers flare in righteousness, extremism and political correctness as this relates to what sustainability really means. This is done, in most part, to protect the huge investments that have been made in marginal non-sustainable practices.

On the other hand I have seen soft margins gained by both not and for profit start-ups as they have leaned gently into sustainability and new growth with a very quiet footprint. Some have been huge!

Definitions of green, eco friendly and organic have varied and have at times been abused and at other times respected in the truer sense of sustainability.  Walking into a very profitable market place yesterday and seeing the word organic on a huge banner while the food sources were anything but is one chilling example.  Seeing a nation scream jobs at home while promoting this message on foreign made paraphernalia is just as daunting. Being able to purchase heirloom non gmo seeds for my garden is perhaps the best representation of the later.

This brings me to speak to yet another matter of the day, that of, sustainability as it relates to new growth which directly affects my company goals and objectives. 

Prior to starting my little big business, I, with near 60 years of learning, concluded that I would like to go forward with products and services that addressed some of the major issues facing not only one nation but the planet as a whole.  With all due respect to the recycling movement, from clothing to plastic, my interest was to be an industry leader who produced products, visibly and in a clean and awakened manner, as this relates to my brand which clearly says “sustainable”.

This I must admit has has been, at times, a daunting task. And one I hope to highlight here.

Yes it is important and often fun to use old materials, both natural and non, and spruce them up, but the old materials will eventually run out and when they do I am the panacea for making new.

Fads pass, old materials dwindle in availability and industry goes on. Here then is my interest and my voice saying that doing business as a sustainable apparel contractor is not only attainable but very consumer and planet friendly. Wouldn't you agree?

What exactly is sustainability?

Sustainability is a broad term and can apply to almost any area of your life. Cleaning chemical laden lands and building eco friendly structures to support new clean growth is one way I view sustainability. Another is introducing a healthy culture like lasagna gardening to your home garden. Or it may be one of my own designs of converting something as simple as an old wooden cd rack into an herb garden. What I have come to see is that it is basically STOPPING the destruction of past exploitation of our natural resources. I get this and I dig this.

Yet there is a broader concept that I introduced in my business plan that speaks to how, when we have sustained and attained a cleaner healthier planet, do we go forward when new products will be needed?

How do we bridge into the realities of the cost of conducting new business that best reflects the tenets of sustainability? How do we, as new age leaders, following as many clean business practices that are within in our reach,  in turn, pass the cost of doing this to consumers? 

Are consumers listening yet? Are they ready to ride the new clean, made in a nation train, or are they still locked into the ruins of past excess of mass marketed apparel, household goods and fads that they can buy for pennies on the dollar? Now is the time to find out.

If I may, the most frustrating part of this conversation is the thought of millions of Americans who have been recessed into markets with products, both food and goods, that do not address sustainability.

Are those who are making a fine living off of sustainability as it relates to "no" new products ready to reveal that as they proceed they have come to need replacements for their replacements? Has that time arrived?

Speaking in broad terms, how do we go forward with new products, given the needs of the average person? Is the average consumer ready to PAY the market price of sustainable products that are made in America?

How do we justify the sustainable cost of doing business in America?

Let us look at one scenario.  My scenario as a sustainable apparel contractor in the State of California and the cost of making one dress at a reasonable production rate!

First you meet the requirements of your State and local business laws. For a contractor in California this is an annual fee starting at approximately $800.00, which increases as your profits increase. You also write an entrance test, one that may not be directly correlated to your individual needs, yet at the same time standardizes you into a new industry.

You conduct a market survey to the extent your dollar amount as a start- up will allow. Basically, is there a market for my product?

You then bring your design to scale. This is an either or choice. You may want to purchase software to do it yourself which could be a one- time investment of thousands of dollars or you hire (support jobs) a designer who will do the work at the same price.

You purchase useful and sustainable resources to bring your product to production like certified organic cottons (grown by hands that are paid a good wage with benefits and employee rights) UPF 50+ fabrics (made in the USA to make fun in the sun "more fun") and lead free buttons (that come from pruning not killing a tree) and you use a local manufacturer who in turn provides good wages, working conditions and employee protections.

Once you add up these expenses you compare them to the cost of manufacturing in a non- sustainable way, scenario two, which may include sneaking around the State fee and testing requirements, using chemical laden fabrics and buttons, and / or passing off the manufacturing to sweat shop owners who could give a fiddler’s care about their workers.

Going back to the one dress and based on minimum production quantities, the first scenario will have a production cost of approximately $40.00 per dress and scenario two a cost of approximately $8.00.

Guess who will make the largest profit and be able to pass product to a consumer at a much lower price? But will this lower consumer price and larger profit meet the basic tenets of sustainability? I fear not.

How then will a wise company chose to manufacture?  Are sound business sensibilities not related to the bottom line? If a non- profit were to source funding to feed hungry children around the world would they use those funds to buy gmo chemical laden foods that will provide little nutrition? Would a new age manufacturer not offer products designed and produced on the principles of sustainability for the betterment and health of not only the individual but the planet?

A read on Sam Walton would probably say not. Yet, not being of this type of Walton mentality, but of the slow and steady and sustainable mentality, I chose to not only pay my way but pave the way. This is no easy undertaking.

Why did I do this?  All the extra -curricular work that I have had to undertake and perform just to justify the price of doing sustainable business and pass this message on to the consumer has worn me, at times, thin.  Are consumers prepared to adapt to the price of sustainably made in America?

Have they come to realize that one product that encompasses so much goodness and quality will far outweigh the cost of four or five that do not?

Clearly some have and some have not. Yet, the trail is being blazed.

Why then, have I bothered? I could have ordered up a slice of business at next to no cost and shipped it in via MSC, dove into the dumpster to retrieve and revive recyclables and sat back, bought a nice beach front property and sipped my favorite drink from here to eternity.

My answer is I did this because I am a visionary of a beautiful new world. A world that is not cluttered with excess but with quality is a world that meets my sensibilities. A combination of harvested old with a new flair of sustainable goods. One that speaks to our planet, our neighbors having work, our children coming to know true food and health, one that will decrease a demand on systems to medicate and patch illnesses of past greed and ignorance. One that recognizes the beauty of being with the times!

My first apparel run is my joy.  I am a garment contractor and a leader. As I prepare to style up my next line, which I am so bloody excited about, I will do it the same way.  I am loving the feedback like Bridget I need a size 2 or size 20, how about that seed bag when is it going to be ready and where is the men’s jacket your promised and how about a yellow tee! I love it. This takes money and time. I will not let you down. Please stick with me. The vision is crystal clear!

Scenario one! My cottons, grown in a part of the world or even on our own land will be clean. I will continue to fight for the clean legal hemp initiative for this State and the Nation. Each hand that sows and harvests the plants will be clean and chemical free. I will continue to offer environmental safeguards like UPF 50+ apparel. My buttons will be lead free, even though this on and off again regulation has many free from this obligation. Local talent will draw and sew the products. And I, not being of the Sam Walton family, will take one less vacation, one less dining out and one less sale to manage my sensibilities. Bridget Guzzi, Owner, Gardens of California April 2, 2012
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