Open Carmel Bella Farm’s website and the first thing you encounter is a quote from Rumi ‘Somewhere between right and wrong, there is a garden. I will meet you there’! We really don’t know about the right and wrong part, but art and vegetables certainly meet at Lisa Troutner’s organic vegetable garden.
Lisa attributes her love for gardening and her harvest artwork to her grandma Rita, who came from Croatia to settle in the countryside of Carmel Valley, California near the Monterey Bay in the 50s. She was blessed with a green thumb and within no time had a vegetable garden full of tomatoes, lavender, grapes, herbs and much more.
Lisa inherited her grandma’s passion for growing vegetables, but it was her mother who taught her the importance of healthy foods and the amazing effects of natural and herbal health remedies. In fact, both her parents were very health conscious and she, along with her siblings, was raised on organic foods that ranged from vegetarian, vegan to raw food preparations. Such childhood memories motivated her to prioritize health and encourage organic lifestyle.
The weather in the Carmel Valley is ideal for growing. And this 29-year-old mother-of-two, in addition to tending her organic garden, also spends time researching about food and nutrition. She is always keen to share with the world the immense benefits of organic gardening.
However, there is another aspect to Lisa’s love for farm produce that has made her an internet sensation. And that is the harvest artwork that she first saw her grandma do when she used to create mosaic-like artwork with vegetables. Lisa’s creative eye and acute sense of colours soon found her discovering art in her garden patch that was splashed with lavender, basil, roses and much more.
The push to express her creativity came when Lisa once found freshly harvested tomatoes covering every countertop and filling every basket, dominating other garden produce. She at once decided to flaunt all her produce by making food art creations by arranging her freshly harvested heirlooms in an artistic way in incredible greens and reds.
Lisa’s first artistic creation was a large heart made with tomatoes that had the word ‘Love’ arranged in tomatoes inside it. She posted it on Instagram and soon received a wonderful response from her new friends. Since then, it has become an expression and outlet for her. In her designs, she intricately places each vegetable into an imaginative design and captures the unique and mouth-watering images.
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