No-Dig Gallery

Pat Marfisi carries alfalfa hay into his Hollywood Hills backyard, but there aren’t any animals to feed. It’s for his “no dig” vegetable garden: raised beds using lasagna-like layers of fodder, bone and blood meal, and compost — and remarkably little water. Now that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has declared a statewide drought, local governments may curb water use for nonessential purposes. Marfisi’s personal horticultural lab offers lessons for a low-water, sustainable technique he learned working on organic farms in Australia. Since he began gardening this way, he has been “inundated” with food. “You can have beauty and abundance without a lot of water,” Marfisi says.

( Robert Lachman / Los Angeles Times )

Pat Marfisi carries alfalfa hay into his Hollywood Hills backyard, but there aren’t any animals to feed. It’s for his “no dig” vegetable garden: raised beds using lasagna-like layers of fodder, bone and blood meal, and compost — and remarkably little water. Now that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has declared a statewide drought, local governments may curb water use for nonessential purposes. Marfisi’s personal horticultural lab offers lessons for a low-water, sustainable technique he learned working on organic farms in Australia. Since he began gardening this way, he has been “inundated” with food. “You can have beauty and abundance without a lot of water,” Marfisi says.

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