Kirsten and Paul Kesicki train a pea plant to grow the net (credit: Felicia LaLomia).
In a well-tended backyard in Southold, Paul and Kirsten Kesicki show off their raised vegetable patch. Four beds in elegant wooden boxes contain a myriad of plants. Carrot tops, radish beginnings, cauliflower beginnings, all poke their green leaves out of the damp soil. The net supports the curly tendrils of the pea shoots, and at the back there is a strawberry cake, as they call it – a tiered garden bed of strawberry plants. New flowers hang to the side to prevent rot.
Despite their enthusiasm for the garden, it is not their home. In fact, none of the three gardens they visit that afternoon to water, pull weeds, or harvest are theirs. They all belong to different clients. The Kesickis plant, cultivate and maintain the flower beds as part of their business, YardCrop.
“Each garden, each person has different needs,” said Kirsten Kesicki. “Each gardener has a different interest in getting involved. It starts with the husband and wife team coming to do a garden consultation to see where a garden would fit best in your garden. Then you determine the size of the garden with a crop menu. From there, the Kesicki ask the builders to make the raised beds and plant. A customer can choose to be as involved as they want, from fully maintaining YardCrop to fully taking care of themselves.
“So many people have these beautiful backyards and they just grow grass and annual flowers,” Kirsten Kesicki said. “After people build their quarantine gardens, there’s this coming home, really using your space as much as possible.”
Paul and Kirsten met at the University of Miami in Florida, where Kirsten is from. They moved to New York after graduation and began camping on the North Fork around 2007.
“We just fell in love with North Fork and kept coming here, camping, then rented and finally bought a spot. [in Southold]Said Paul Kesicki, who is from Dix Hills and works in commercial real estate.
They both really started gardening with their families growing up and started gardening on their own in 2015. Eventually they helped their friends and family with their gardens and in December 2019 they wrote a plan for them. business for YardCrop. That, of course, has been postponed by the pandemic, and this season is their first official season at the helm of the company. Since early spring, the two have planned, built and planted a dozen gardens around North Fork and currently maintain three.
“While I think [the pandemic has] put us back a year, that will probably propel us into the future as a lot of people couldn’t do anything but be home and go out in the vegetable patch, ”said Kirsten Kesicki. “They enjoyed it, but realize that they may not know as much as they thought.”
And that’s where YardCrop comes in.
At Southold’s Garden, Paul and Kirsten Kesicki planned the client’s needs around the crops in the garden.
“She really likes canning, so there are cucumbers. She makes jams, so we built this strawberry rack over there for her, ”said Paul Kesicki, who took the Master Gardener course at Oregon State University.
They use succession planting, which involves planting seeds in increments so that all the carrots do not grow at once but in waves, and a square foot method of gardening, which involves planting a lot of crops in a small space. . Their activity extends from Jamesport to the Orient.
“High density growth in smaller spaces reduces maintenance and waste,” said Paul Kesicki. They get a lot of their seeds locally from farms like Herricks Lane, Deep Roots, Garden Fusion, and KK’s the farm.
“Each person has a different reason why they make these gardens and a reason why they connect with them,” said Kirsten Kesicki. “Whether it’s something like honoring a family member or something they want to do with their kids to connect, in many ways it’s like investing in your landscape, your garden, your home. “