EarthWorks, Oakland, CA
the roots of
EarthWorks by Andy Powning
The seed for EarthWorks germinated over 25 years ago. Working for a produce distributor, I had the good fortune to meet many chefs and to eat lots of good food in numerous Bay Area restaurants. Within one week, I was served a salad strewed with pansy petals, a soup garnished with wild mustard blossoms, and a dessert sporting a mint tip. This gave me pause. I lovingly tended a big garden which had all of those growing, and four things happened in short order that awoke my inner farmer and merchant. One, my junker of a car burned up, and a surprisingly large insurance check manifested into the used Toyota pickup of my dreams. Two, my neighbor gave me his old Sears rototiller. Three, a dear friend with a huge yard invited me to garden there, as long as vegetables would be included in the mix. Last, a mix-up led to 1,444 tiny herb plants needing a home, and I was in the right place at the right time. Countless hours and truckloads of compost later, EarthWorks came to be. As the tricolor sage and lemon thyme reached 4” pot stage and were being sold to a local nursery, the five varieties of mint plus multiple edible flower plants were maturing. I struck a deal with my employer, and soon was supplying many chefs with super fresh garnishes, always focusing on the more beautiful, unusual varieties.
Five years later, I was able to buy a shack in Oakland, located on a sloped, southwest facing ½ acre in a warm microclimate, which sported five mature fruit trees: heaven! Over the last 15 years I’ve lovingly tended the soil and the plants, adding interesting items such as Nepitella mint, lemon verbena and over 40 fragrant rose trees to the mix.
Currently EarthWorks offers over 20 different packs of super fresh edible flowers, herbs and striking garnishes. In a one year period, over 50 different plant varieties make their way into our offerings. We’re happy to discuss any custom order or packing requests with you.
Food Safety & Growing Practices
We have a strong Food Safety Program, certified by the International Food Safety Institute, adhering to Good Management Practices and Good Agricultural Practices.
EarthWorks grows sustainably, meaning without relying on toxic chemical pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, genetically modified seeds, or practices that degrade soil, water, or other natural resources.