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Zevely Zone: A special garden in Allied Gardens

In Friday's Zevely Zone, Jeff was invited to visit a special garden in Allied Gardens.

SAN DIEGO — Imagine growing a garden only to give away the vegetables, succulents, and fruits of your labor.  

In Friday's Zevely Zone, Jeff was invited to visit a special garden in Allied Gardens.

Kathy Jo is a retired pre-school teacher and class is in session. She gave Jeff a tour of her front yard which she turned into her own succulent success story. There are thirty succulents in all.    

"These grow slowly. Its keeps me busy," she said. 

Jeff traveled to her home to meet Kathy Jo because her husband Edward mailed Jeff a letter: "My wife Kathy Jo has converted our front lawn into a succulent garden," said Edward while reading part of the letter. 

Edward is proud of his wife and his World War II service where he defeated the Nazis and wrestled a knife away from a German. After helping win the war, Edward returned home and was victorious in the San Diego real estate market as well.  

He was the original owner of his house which he bought in 1954 for $12,750.

Edward smiled as he told Jeff what the house is worth today. You'd be smiling too if you saw their back yard. 

"We have tangerines, oranges, onions, strawberries, tomatoes, peas and the cucumbers are down there," said Kathy Jo. 

A lot this stuff you can eat right off the vine. Eating Kathy Jo's tomato was the best decision Jeff made in a long time followed immediately by his worst.

"Would you like to try a kumquat?" asked Kathy Jo as she popped one in his mouth.  

"Oh! no," said Jeff as he rejected the worst tasting fruit ever grown on the planet.  

Kathy Jo made it better with fresh made lemonade. 

"That's nice, much better than a kumquat," said Jeff.

Kathy Jo makes a lot of fresh juice and friends because many of the fruits and vegetables of her labor along with all of succulents are given away for free.

"Well it's giving back to the community. I am sure I will see them in another garden," said Kathy Jo.  

When you write the book on giving, it's okay for a retired teacher to admit, she flunked Latin.  

"Kalanchoe Marnieiana,"said Kathy Jo. "I am just winging it here." 

If you happen upon Kathy Jo's succulent garden on Twain Avenue in Allied Gardens, keep an eye out for her free succulent clippings, fruits and vegetables.