When Judy Frankel was just a kid, her dad grew vegetables in their back yard. “I loved the tomatoes, cucumbers, and green beans that we grew,” Frankel said, “but mostly the tomatoes.”
Twenty years later, when she purchased a condo, she tried to grow tomatoes on her patio. When the tomato plants didn't do so well on the patio, Frankel got a garden plot in a community garden in Long Beach.
In 2000, Frankel moved to Rancho Palos Verdes where she was able to garden in her own yard. She became a Master Gardener in California in 2002 and a Master Gardener in Massachusetts that same year.
After returning to the Peninsula in 2007, she started judyshomegrown.com in 2008.
Frankel has taught gardening skills to students at Cornerstone Elementary School. She's taught many other how to grow tomatoes, about the secrets of soil, about the biodynamic principles of vegetable gardening, about the future of food, and about her specialty—pruning fruit trees.
“I'm an activist promoting healthy gardening practices that remediate the soil rather than just 'sustain' it,” she said with pride. “I care about the future of the human species, and will do everything in my power to make the world a better place. My concern for a healthy ecology is the thread that runs through everything I do.”
This fall, Frankel is taking that ecological thread literally. She's coming out with her own clothing line titled Garden Love Apparel.
The line's focus is on comfy clothing that is 'bra-optional', which means you don't need to wear a bra, and yet you get full coverage and modesty.
“It will be easy to wear in the garden, but I’ll also offer clothes that can go from the boardroom (business attire) to the family room without having to rip your bra off to get comfortable," said Frankel.
The Rancho Palos Verdes resident, who recently worked in high tech in the apparel industry, said she will attend a Las Vegas trade show next month to find the designs she wants to offer.
"Ideally, I'd like all 'Garden Love Apparel' to be safe for our bodies and for the environment, which means organic and/or non-polluting," said Frankel.
Frankel is also a writer with a previous stint as a blogger for Huffington Post.
Her book, "In Search of the Next POTUS: One Woman's Quest to Fix Washington, a True Story" is available on Amazon and getting 5-star reviews.
Frankel loves to cook, bake and make healthy meals.
“I cook mostly with vegan, organic, fresh ingredients, right from the garden when possible. I listen to podcasts that focus on nutrition, health, and politics.”
She conducts research about the ways that companies are ruining our ecology with chemicals, mechanical damage, or invasive technology.
“I work to fight against those things that are (without malice of forethought, but sometimes with intentional neglect) destroying our health and the health of bees.”
And Frankel gives back to the community in myriad creative ways.
When she gets a bumper crop from her fruit trees, for example, she takes the extra peaches to friends and neighbors.
“I give away a lot of produce," said Frankel.
When she isn't gardening, teaching, writing or giving free lectures, Frankel collaborates on videos with IV Organics YouTube star Charles Malki.
Frankel invites everyone to check out what she's up to at judyshomegrown.com.