Harvest to Home Is Here to Revamp Your Healthy Lifestyle
Written By: Reed Ryley Grable
Photographed By: Hannah Wilson Harvest to Home
Off the 73 freeway, a gray building juts from the ground, surrounded by what appears to be an overgrowth of plants. On closer inspection, succulents adorn the building and surround a sun-faded green sign, which reads: “Organic Vegetable Gardens—Green Walls—Succulent Art,” and just below, “Harvest to Home.” This is the headquarters for Mike Saraylian’s ever-expanding business, which services the Orange County region in a variety of gardening practices and plant art. Starting from humble beginnings 10 years ago, Saraylian has seen the art of self-gardening progress from being perceived as a sort of hippy practice, to one that is becoming ingrained in our culture. Harvest to Home has helped lead the march for this home-grown lifestyle.
It all began shortly after the 2008 recession. Saraylian previously held a job in the marble and granite industry, but with the economic crash, he felt it was time for something new. Though he had no previous experience with gardening (“I hadn’t even planted a plant before,” he jokes), Saraylian saw the act as something potentially beneficial for him. “I quit my job, having no idea what I was doing, but I was geared more towards healthy living,” Saraylian says.
Saraylian began his own garden on the rooftop of his Newport Beach home. As he tended to the garden and watched his seeds grow, he recognized the power of this new hobby. “It’s interesting and therapeutic to see the fruits of your labor grow.” Eventually, he had over 3,000 plants—all on his rooftop. “I’m pretty sure the neighbors thought I was out of my mind…or growing pot,” he jokes.
Much like a seed, his hobby budded into a business. While Saraylian’s rooftop served as the greenery, his garage became a woodshop and the living room turned into an office. Soon, he was developing a clientele who wanted a garden on their property as well.
Harvest to Home developed the goal to “impact people’s lives positively through their diet.” The company now services well over 100 residential homes and several businesses, and it continues to grow. In fact, since the opening of their showroom in Costa Mesa three years ago, the company has seen an upward growth of 60 percent. More people are craving the greater nutritional value gained from having their own garden and the knowledge of knowing where their food came from.
The company currently has around 10 employees who maintain the gardens of their clientele weekly. They install garden beds, plant fruit trees in old wine barrels and set up teepee-like structures that plants, such as peas, can cling onto and grow. At their Costa Mesa headquarters, a garden is on display, which acts as a window to the garden a potential client can have. On the wall hangs a succulent mural in various hues of purple, blue and orange. In the corner, a wine barrel grows with thyme, and a fledgling spearmint pops from behind. Passionfruit grows above on an overhead trellis, while various herbs nestle at the foot. Wooden beds of beets, onion and carrots line a dirt pathway, and a stilted bed of berries lays at its end. An automated owl, which scares off the pests, keeps watch over it all.
Though Saraylian admits that they are a luxury service, the company is known for offering free gardening classes and a robust website with information about all their fruits, vegetables and herbs. “Everyone should be growing something because it’s just such a beautiful lesson,” he says, thanks to the profound impact his own garden has had on him. Among his favorite herbs are lemongrass, lemon thyme, and lemon verbena, which he uses to brew tea. “You’re putting a part of the garden in your body,” he says.
Recently, Saraylian and his team revamped a garden found at Top of the World Elementary, Saraylian’s childhood school in Laguna Beach, in an effort to give back to the community. When he attended school there as a child, there was a tiny garden in the back, which no one knew existed. Now, there’s “one of the most beautiful gardens” that Saraylian has ever seen at a school. Since its installation, the school has constructed a curriculum around the garden. “This is becoming the norm,” says Saraylian. “It’s very fulfilling, and you can see that’s where the future is going.”
Harvest to Home
2905 Red Hill Ave, Ste C
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
949.873.5400 Harvest to Home