INTERVIEW / Tiny Terra Ferma / Manayunk, Philadelphia

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Tiny Terra Ferma is Manayunk’s new ecological landscape design studio & garden shop, opening this Friday. Below is my interview with owner-designers Jeff Lorenz and Annie Scott, followed by details about the Spring Opening Party. [All photos courtesy Tiny Terra Ferma.]

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Lunaria Gardens: Tell us about the evolution of Tiny Terra Ferma & the new space.

Jeff Lorenz: Annie and I have been working on urban garden projects for the last few years with Ivy Ridge Green, an organization she co-founded in 2009. From the get-go we connected over a love for native plants and the possibilities of gardening and food production in our small backyard spaces. With my 15 years as a horticulturalist, designer and business owner, and Annie’s experience and masters in landscape design and planning, we both had the expressed desire to create a design company and local hub for gardening and urban green space.

Annie Scott: This past year we started working on design projects together and planning our company. Our space is now in a repurposed garage on Main Street in Manayunk, that was abandoned for over 30 years. I had often walked by it and thought about how much potential the space has. We have both put in long hours working on the space – its really exciting to see it become our garden shop and design studio.

A vertical pallet planter at Tiny Terra Ferma.
A vertical pallet planter at Tiny Terra Ferma.

Lunaria Gardens: What are some common problems that you’re aiming to solve for the urban grower?

JL: Urban gardening is challenging and multifaceted, but in order to leverage its potential, it must be affordable, accessible and attainable. That is our mission through our design service and garden shop.

Lunaria Gardens: How does your vision relate to larger food issues in the Philadelphia region?

AS: Our goal is to enable people to grow their own food in both large and small spaces. Through proper design, it is possible to grow an abundance of food in tiny rowhouse backyards. We aim to educate, inspire and empower people to grow food themselves.

Closeup of herbs, greens, & succulents potted in the vertical pallet planter.
Closeup of herbs, greens, & succulents potted in the vertical pallet planter.

Lunaria Gardens: What other events do you plan on hosting in the coming year?

AS: We will be hosting various classes on garden related topics. We envision our space to be an educational forum and a hub for potential neighborhood greening.

Lunaria Gardens: What design project would you love to encounter?

AS: Projects that serve the client and nature. I love the challenge of fulfilling the client’s goals while serving nature, and creating food sources for both humans and wildlife through the use of native plants. I have done this through design on 40-acre farms, 400-square-foot backyards, and window boxes. I’m excited about any new design challenge that provides the opportunity to create beautiful spaces in both form and function.

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Lunaria : Give us a little background on some of the other folks involved with the First Friday opening.

JL: The great accordionist Dallas Vietty, of Musette Project, will be performing selections from the French Musette and Gypsy Jazz musical repertoire. Our Manayunk neighbor, Ryan McNeely, will provide guitar accompaniment as well as bossa nova compositions.

Lunaria Gardens: Can you give us a sneak peak of some cool plants or tools that will be available April 5th?

AS: The plants we carry are functional – native, edible, extremely drought tolerant, and beautiful. We have adorable 5” baby fig trees, kale and swiss chard starts, herbs, blueberries and native plants. We also have a selection of quality garden tools and accessories.

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tinyterraferma_logoTINY TERRA FERMA, 4324 Main Street, Manayunk, Philadelphia, PA, (267) 237-1489
Spring hours: Thursdays – Sundays 11am – 7pm

Spring Opening Party: First Friday, April 5, 2013
5 – 9pm drinks & light refreshments
6:30pm music by Dallas Vietty & Ryan McNeely
RSVP on Facebook

 

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