In the know In the Koop

Dec. 14, 2013 @ 11:36 AM

The author is unknown, yet the message is nonetheless inspiring, “Live each day as if it were your last, and garden as though you’ll live life forever.”
This quote is authentic and emulates the message that Laura Baldwin, owner of Garden in the Koop hopes to sow. “I’m a gardener,” she says. It is cold on this day and we are inside a reclaimed former chicken house, at the scenic junction of Baldwin Road and St. Mary’s Road.
Formerly known as Reba & Roses, Baldwin is tilling her life forward on land and passion that has been in her family for decades. “I was born overseas and this is where my family is from,” Baldwin says. She attended school in Orange County and speaks with a deliberately gentle manner that convinces you she has found a needed niche that can only have grand results, local and global.
The premise behind Garden in the Koop is that heirloom seeds are sold to teach young and old alike the value of continuing what is natural and healthy, as nature had intended. Inside one of the workrooms, Baldwin and her cast assembles what is a truly genuine way to begin gardening and growing vegetables. From cardboard egg cartons that eventually biodegrade and become soil compost, heirloom seeds and coconut fibers (for soil) are packaged and decorated with a slip cover that is appealing to the eye and reflective of education and enchantment. “Our idea is that teaching kids to grow has long-lasting benefits for us all,” Baldwin said.
Already, her products are available through William-Sonoma and through her website as well as Whole Foods in certain cities.
The egg carton boxes are known as Giggling Garden caricatures from Flutterby-Butterfly Garden to Harry’s Pizza Garden learning center. The caricatures are drawn from the nephew of the late Doug Marlette, Andy Marlette, who also contributed the artwork for Baldwin’s series of children’s books, whose main character is one of her dog’s, Harry.
“He just loves carrots and so it inspired a children’s book series,” Baldwin said.
Not to be left out from the art of growing, there is also a tin-cup series of seeding products that appeal to adults, too. Upon finding her passion through heirloom seeds and her passion for gardening and nature, Baldwin is equally proud of the fairy-houses, that are built from reclaimed materials and items found from her property. “The fairy houses are necessary because it contributes to the imagination of a child. These are miniature houses that have working water capturing systems. Basically, they foster creativity and work to the myth and magic of a fairy,” Baldwin said.
On a cold day, the allure to grow and sustain is prevalent in conversation with Baldwin. Inside her building is a referenced poster that speaks of using heirloom seeds. The poster reads, “If you save seeds from year to year you are cooperating with nature’s plan to develop the best seeds for each combination of soil and weather conditions.”
Though Baldwin is selling seeds, she is giving away the nurturing spirit of planting and watching seeds grow.

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