Name: Kelly Orzel
Occupation: Herb Farmer/Owner of Bowery Beach Farm, Garden Speaker, Writer (My first book: The Backyard Gardener: Simple, Easy and Beautiful Gardening with Vegetables, Herbs and Flowers is now available!) & Photographer
Place of Residence: Coastal Maine
A life-long grower of green things, Kelly fell in love with plants and soil at 15 while working at a local nursery. Now, with more than 20 years of experience and her Master’s (MS) degree in Horticulture, Kelly’s obsession with plants has culminated in Bowery Beach Farm located in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. As a sustainable, organic, Master Gardener and girl-farmer she specializes in fresh-cut culinary herbs for local restaurants and markets, as well as scented geraniums. A grower at heart, Kelly propagates a wide selection of uncommon plants; drawn to the old-fashioned and heirloom varieties for their delicious flavors, unique scents, and rare colors that are missing in many plants and flowers today.
Set back on a couple acres in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, less than two miles from the beach, sits Bowery Beach Farm. As a small farm focused on growing culinary and scented plants, her growing philosophy is simple: keep it green. She practices intensive, small-scale organic farming techniques that keep the plants healthy, vigorous, and productive. The season begins in fall when Kelly takes rosemary, tarragon and lavender cuttings, which are overwintered in the greenhouse, followed by the spring sowing and transplanting. Once spring and summer hit, Kelly is busy growing, succession sowing, and harvesting until—and for the hardier crops, even past—the first frost. Meanwhile, her husband, CJ, makes Kelly’s crazy-intense planting dreams come true by building hoop houses and prepping/rotating the beds when he’s not helping with the bi-weekly harvest.
Kelly’s first book, The Backyard Gardener: Simple, Easy and Beautiful Gardening with Vegetables, Herbs and Flowers was published in April 2017 and is now available. The Backyard Gardener focuses on sustainable, organic garden practices and is laid out according to crop rotation strategies. All you want and need to know about the kitchen garden, from your prepping your soil and propagation methods to specific plant growing advice and information, is here.
During the winter months Kelly works as a freelance writer/photographer for local newspapers and national garden magazines, including Hobby Farms. She also travels throughout New England and beyond giving garden talks, demonstrations, and has even appeared on local television stations. Aside from dirt, Kelly loves bread and cheese, over-sized sweaters and Jane Austen novels. She lives with her husband and their dog, Mr. Bert, on their small farm in Maine
My first book: The Backyard Gardener is now available! I’m already at work on my second, which focuses exclusively on herbs.
Trialing some new varieties of rosemary and cilantro to determine which has the best combination of flavor, production, and uniformity of harvest.
Testing a new, more intensive plant bed configuration on the farm.
Garden Lecturing and book signings scheduled.
Active Master Gardener.
Member of the Cape Farm Alliance, a non-profit promoting local agriculture and education.
More Places to Find Kelly on the Web:
Facebook: Bowery Beach Farm
Pinterest: Kelly Orzel