By Dave Schwab
Most people can’t eat their lawns … but at 7437-39 Cuvier St. in La Jolla, it’s on the menu.
The edible garden, as delectable as it is attractive, was created by Ari Tenenbaum, a 2004 University High School grad whose parents are both La Jolla High School teachers. Tenenbaum, who went on to earn a plant science degree at UC, Santa Cruz in 2008, hopes to make the world’s food supply more sustainable, one plot at a time.
The Cuvier garden serves a rental property, providing food for the tenants and landlord. It’s also a field trip destination for Tenenbaum’s dad, Howard, who teaches an AP environmental science course for juniors and seniors, and annually takes his students to see his son’s work.
“In class, we look at different types of architecture, studying structural as well as landscaping, urban issues,” Howard Tenenbaum said. “Ari’s business model is so progressive, and he takes time to talk to the kids. It works out real well. The fact that his company is so new is an inspiration for the students to see.”
Ari’s edible garden is just one stop along the way on his dad’s class science tour, which includes the La Jolla Historical Society and tide pooling.
Ari Tenenbaum, and a friend with business acumen, teamed to create Revolution Landscape Edible Gardens & Sustainable Landscapes in 2008 to accomplish a number of eco-friendly objectives.
“We thought of the idea for helping people grow their own food so not only would people eat healthier, but they would use water more efficiently,” Tenenbaum said. “We felt landscape was a really unique way to address the issues we’re passionate about, and help other people become aware and passionate about them, too.”
Tenenbaum and his crew of a half-dozen like-minded San Diegans, craft detailed garden designs for clients by recreating the landscapes to make them more productive, practical and tasteful.
Traipsing through his edible garden on Cuvier Street, Tenenbaum “harvests” blueberries, peas and lettuce while discussing how he’s transformed this patch of Earth.
“Before this rental property was all grass, offering not a whole lot,” he said. “Now there are artichokes, lettuce and sweet peas that are just delicious.”