SAN DIEGO — If you've ever wanted to learn how to grow you own food, an expert gardener who lives in San Diego is sharing his secrets with more than one hundred countries around the world. In this Zevely Zone, I visited the YouTube Channel called Epic Gardening. Most people on YouTube would be happy to have 200 subscribers, Kevin Espiritu is closing in on two million. "This year we are growing a ton of tomatoes," said Kevin from his garden in south San Diego County.
Nine years ago, Kevin started planting his own food. "This is how we start seeds in the garden," said Kevin. "We have got just some tiny little onion seeds, like these little black seeds." Kevin started posting videos online in 2013; his plants were growing and so were his YouTube followers.
"When I hit the first thousand, I was like oh man, big time you know? Then when I hit ten thousand, I was like wow this is really going well," said Kevin. "I'll get recognized at a farmer's market yeah for sure, it happened a couple of week ago. It's not like when you go and meet Brad Pitt and start freaking out, it's more like hey I really like your videos they help me learn how to grow this."
I asked Kevin what he knew about gardening before becoming a gardener. "Absolutely nothing, yeah I knew nothing, I never grew up gardening," he said. Kevin was making a living playing online poker but decided to gamble on himself. Addicted to video games, Kevin started gardening to kick the habit. When people took an interest in his work, he branched out and set a goal. "You know initially it was teach a thousand people and then I said ten thousand and then I said 100,000 and then as the blog and the YouTube Channel grew, I just kept upping the number," said Kevin.
He now wants to teach tens of millions of people how to grow their own food because most people don't know how to do it. "It feels like culturally we are missing a little bit of that you know? We want to know where our food came from and ideally produce some of it ourselves if we can," said Kevin who set a goal to grow enough food for him to live on. He surpassed his goal. "Well over this year I have grown probably 700 tomatoes out of a backyard that would be five a day for the whole summer I just can't eat it," said Kevin.
His biggest advice don't be afraid to kill a few plants. "I would say number one the best gardeners have killed the most plants so don't be afraid to kill plants because how are you going to learn right? You are going to mess up growing a tomato, you are going to be sad and then you are never going to do that again," said Kevin. "The vibe we have tried to put out is hey this is just fun, it's cool it's a normal thing to do," said Kevin. "I don't look like the traditional gardener but that is the whole point."
Your beautiful garden could be a YouTube click away and because Kevin had a bumper crop of tomatoes, I helped him eat a few. "My compliments to the chef," I said. Kevin replied, "I mean come on, that's good right?"
Since founding his website as a hobby in 2013, Epic Gardening has grown to reach millions of aspiring gardeners in over 100 countries around the world. Kevin has amassed over 3.6 million social media followers, 11 million podcast downloads, and 42 million blog visits. Additionally, Espiritu has authored two books. For a link to Epic Gardening on YouTube click here.
Watch more Zevely Zone content below: