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We love the idea of homegrown salads but have always felt a little lost about how to start cultivating our own greens. Now we?ve discovered a gardening guru who will not only plan and build your garden, she?ll make it grow.

Tara Kolla is the proprietor of Silver Lake Farms, a business that prepares weekly community supported agriculture (CSA) boxes from local growers and farmers. You?ll also see her Sundays at the Hollywood Farmers? Market, selling the pesticide-free flowers she grows in her spacious yard.

But what sets Kolla apart from many other growers is her zeal for spreading the gospel of grow-your-own. Along with her husband, Beat, she transforms homes into mini-homesteads. Whether you just want container-based tomatoes on your roof or a full terraced garden with an orchard, compost bin, irrigation and a chicken coop, she?ll do it all. Design runs $175 an hour; installation, $55 an hour.

Best of all, if you?d rather not do the work yourself, she?ll take care of weeding, fertilizing and other maintenance for $75 an hour (plus $25 travel time). Who knows? With Kolla?s help we might just develop a green thumb after all.

Silver Lake Farms; 323-644-3700 or

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