West Menlo Park home is on the Edible Landscaping tour on July 19

by Linda Hubbard on July 16, 2014

One of the reasons Kristin Kuntz-Duriseti and husband Ram bought their west Menlo Park home eight years ago was to have a bigger piece of land in order to start a suburban fruit and vegetable garden.

“The fruit trees were the defining thing,” Kristen said. “And being sustainable was a huge value to us.

“We planted 20 fruit trees, in addition to the two oranges that were already here. There is nothing better than going out and grabbing fresh fruit from your garden.”

Raised garden beds were added four years ago. “The gardens are themed,” Kristin explained. “We have Italian, Indian, Mexican and ‘kids eat free’ which has kid-friendly foods and salad munchies.”

The Duriseti edible garden also includes container fruit trees and berry and grape vines, along with many native plants and edible ground covers.  “We use drip irrigation and heavy mulches to conserve water,” Kristin said. “Many of our plants are seed starts, cuttings, and from local seed sources, and the garden is designed so that flowers and food are available in every season.

“We’ve experimented with what works and what doesn’t. Some things are constants: We never have to buy onions, garlic, carrots or lettuce. All of those things you can grow easily.”

Local landscaper/gardener Megan Land helped design and install the garden and now works with the Durisetis to maintain it. “I love her creativity, like the wavy strawberry bed she did in the front yard,” said Kristin.

“I would like for people to know how easy it is to get started. Make a few small changes. Get your feet wet. Plant what you love to eat. It’s truly magical to see little plants sprouting from seeds!

“The thing that got me started on ‘edible landscaping’ was the hedge of blueberry bushes in the front of the house. I would definitely recommend thinking of edibles as hedges, e.g., lemons or pomegranates.”

The 8th annual Edible Landscaping Tour will take place this Saturday, July 19. There are 10 gardens on the tour, all in Palo Alto, with the exception of the Duriseti home in Menlo Park. The cost is $35, which benefits Common Ground, a 501c3 nonprofit project of Ecology Action. Registration is available online.

Photos by Irene Searles

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