2021 #7 The Raven Hollow Garden

Address: 241 Camino de San Francisco
Owner: Carolyn Stice
Garden Type or Features: Vegetables, chickens, orchard, children’s gardening

The following artists will be at this garden:

  • Elaine Scott – 9am – Noon
  • Carol Ordogne – 1pm – 4pm


The original home was built in the 1960s. The property is on 3.5 acres, with an arroyo, an orchard, and a large garden. We were attracted to this property because of its seclusion and privacy, and because of the local wildlife. We have seen foxes, coyotes, bobcats, bears, mountain lions, and lots of different species of birds.

This organic garden was started with the aim of learning to grow food efficiently in our arid environment. The garden incorporates a selection of dynamic composting systems including straw bale gardens, the lasagna method, and layering with yard materials and alfalfa. The use of straw bales and other composting systems are particularly effective in this environment because of their capacity to both retain moisture and feed the plants. These systems are dynamic because compost is created over the growing season, while also feeding the plants. The garden is watered using a timed drip system.

The garden is a mix of boxes and in-ground beds, designed and built by the owner. The garden also incorporates a system of trellises to take advantage of the vertical space. Our favorite feature about the garden is the way it becomes like a mini ecosystem during the growing season, as it not only feeds the property owners, but also provides habitat and food for local wildlife. Wild birds come to feed on garden pests and to get a reliable source of daily fresh water. Rodents, lizards, and toads are attracted by the water and produce, and are then preyed upon by  local snakes and larger mammals.

The property also has a chicken coop and separate home composting system, which are used to amend the soil, and a beehive, to help with pollination. The garden is focused on vegetables, flowers, and herbs, both edible and medicinal, which are used for eating and for creating herbal medicines.