Well Planted

Locally Sown at Tiffany Devault’s Kindred Garden

“Locally sown to be locally grown” says the Kindred Gardens website, a family-owned plant nursery that operates on about a quarter acre in Weed. “Actually, our lot is 0.8 of an acre,” explains owner Tiffany DeVault. “In fact, we bought it because it was so big, but it was also cheap because it had this horrible old house that no one wanted. But three months after we moved in, the house burned in the Boles fire, and we got to rebuild the house. But I like to say that Kindred Gardens sits on a quarter acre because my husband and I split the lot. My nursery is on one side, his RV repair and welding business is on the other side, and our house sits right in the middle.”

Photos courtesy of Tiffany DeVault

DeVault is deeply invested in nursery science. After graduating from Humboldt State University with a bachelor’s degree in molecular biology and minors in chemistry and botany, DeVault worked as a volunteer at the Humboldt Botanical Gardens before launching Kindred Gardens in 2011. “I started over in Humboldt County when my children were really young. It had been a hobby dream for a while, but as they grew, so did my business.” Eventually, they all planted themselves in Siskiyou County. “My husband and I sat down and discussed where we wanted to raise our children. I grew up in Weaverville, and he grew up in Corning, but we loved to recreate in Mount Shasta, so that’s where we ended up. I’ve been operating in Siskiyou County now consistently for about five years. I’ve done all of the farmers markets and the festivals, though I try to be very respectful if other growers already kind of ‘have’ an area.”

DeVault has also been instrumental in getting the Weed Farmers Market off the ground. “We started it last year, and it’s happening on Wednesday afternoons again this year, from May through September.”

Photos courtesy of Tiffany DeVault

DeVault makes it a point to source locally and organically. She also makes custom topsoil and does her best to accommodate special requests, in addition to her standbys. “I usually do bareroot trees and berries, bulbs, herbaceous plants and flowers. I also do succulents because succulents are fun.” Operating on a quarter-acre keeps her busy. “The reason I can do it on such a small space is that I’m constantly moving stuff around. I have a 10×20-foot greenhouse with a heat strip that I use in the winter. When that gets full, I start moving cold crops out to a 10×10-foot shade house next to the greenhouse. Once those are hardened off, I move them out to rows of pallets where people can peruse them. Sometimes I have dormant stuff stacked there that don’t look good because they’re not up yet, but I don’t have room to put them anywhere else.”

Photos courtesy of Tiffany DeVault

DeVault says that her favorite plants to grow might be fruits and vegetables. “I really love vegetables because I can harvest them, and then my family eats really well. I really love my fruit trees because there’s fruit. I don’t do a lot of ornamentals, maybe because I can’t eat them,” she says with a laugh. But she’s certain that her favorite moments revolve around a plant’s first sign of life. “When they first come up, and they break the surface, they’re just little tiny things. They’re so fun. I’m always like, ‘Look, everybody! I got stuff! It’s alive!”

Photos courtesy of Tiffany DeVault

And with everything she grows, she credits experience as her best teacher. “You can read as much as you want, but it’s not going to tell you what outside is like today. You just have to do it, and you can’t be sad if something dies.” She’s also learned how to cultivate her life around what she loves most. “I love where I am. We have an amazing life that we get to share with our kids, and we get to go snowboarding all the time. I’m not complaining.” •

Kindred Gardens

About Megan Peterson

Megan Peterson is a freelance storyteller who loves her family, her pets, and Northern California. Her favorite part of writing is finding flow, and she always relishes a touching human story. Aside from Enjoy, she’s typically busy writing and producing for television, having created more than 220 hours of on-air content on networks ranging from National Geographic to Netflix.

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