Dave's Garden: Staff
Kimberly Keller is the senior content manager for Dave's Garden. Her passion for writing and website coding led her to leave her job in the film industry behind and focus on a career in online media. An accomplished journalist, she has worked abroad in Italy and received awards for her work from USC, CSUN, and A'Design Awards.
Throughout her career, Kimberly has worked on both sides of digital publishing, from building websites to writing and editing. She believes in the importance of creating a user experience that brings carefully researched articles on gardening, plants, and more to every type of gardener.
Kimberly loves to garden at home and has a small vegetable garden as well as an indoor hydroponic herb garden. As a child, she helped her parents grow fruit and veggies in their yard and raised garden bed and now loves to challenge her green thumb with new plants and growing methods.
In her spare time, Kimberly enjoys travelling, volunteering with local animal rescues and Habitat for Humanity, and working on various DIY projects. Her favorite plant is the Podoserpula miranda, commonly known as the Barbie pagoda fungus. This unique fungi has a delicate appearance that makes it look otherworldly amongst the green foliage.
She got her start in the publication industry working on her high school newspaper in Redondo Beach, California, where she spent deadline nights designing page layouts and editing news stories. Following that initial exposure into journalism, she became the managing editor at her award-winning community college newspaper. It was there she met her husband, who beat her in a popularity contest to become editor-in-chief (she may still be bitter about that).
Based in Los Angeles, Angela enjoys spending time on the West Coast with her family, whether it's camping in the Sierra Nevada Mountains or crabbing in Washington's Puget Sound on the 4th of July (an annual tradition for the past 20 years). She also loves vintage furniture and is always scouring estate sales for her next great find.
Her favorite plants are the two plumeria trees in our backyard. When they're blooming, the scent is intoxicating!
Jason Pelmont is an editor-in-chief at Dave's Garden and a firm believer that everyone should try to grow something at least once, regardless of how green their thumb may be.
His family will brag that Jason became a published writer at age 9, submitting jokes and short fiction stories to local publications. Those early creative roots would spread to include experience writing and performing comedy as well as studying journalism while reporting for his high school newspaper. He also began studying screenwriting at this time and won the Martin Roth Memorial Screenwriting Award. He earned a degree in Cinema & Television Arts from California State University, Northridge.
Jason sowed many seeds as a writer and filmmaker working on award-winning independent films, studio television projects with Disney and Fox, music videos, and commercials including national ad campaigns for Target and Powerade.
When he's not editing work for the page or screen, Jason enjoys cooking and baking using whatever fresh herbs he can squeeze out of his indoor grower or balcony-based veggie garden in sunny Los Angeles.
The first thing Jason ever grew was a simple cucumber plant. It was small, and took a lot of time, but tasted delicious. He believes plants and agriculture are inseparable parts of human history that aren't always shown the reverence they deserve. Growing and gardening is an important practice that allows us to connect to the past and remember how fragile and connected all living things are. Passing on that knowledge through Dave's Garden is planting seeds for a better, greener tomorrow.
Jason's favorite flower is the bee orchid because it's a masterful con artist of plant evolution.
Melody Rose always loved growing things. Her first memory of something that she planted and nurtured all by herself was a sunflower seed that an aunt gave her when she was just a small child. She scooped out a hole in their vegetable garden with a spoon and planted it. It grew to a tremendous height and the head was so large she couldn't reach around it with her arms. From then on, she always had something growing.
Years later, she moved wild ferns from the stream bank on their farm to the front flower bed (where her mother proclaimed nothing would grow) and they thrived. She kept an assortment of various greenery on a homemade ledge in her bedroom window and when she went to college, they followed her there.
Melody majored in graphic design and journalism, but was always more of an artist and still is today. She's a textile artist and the National Quilt Museum keeps her hand-dyed silk scarves in their gift shop. She's also a photographer and has a portfolio of over 20,000 images, many of which are posted in the Dave's Garden PlantFiles, and some grace the plant tags that come with transplants at the garden center.
She found Dave's Garden when it was just a little seed trading site back in January of 2001. There were less than 400 members when she joined. There were a few Q&A type forums then and she quickly found that her knowledge of plants and how to grow things were needed there and contributed a large amount of information to the PlantFiles database. As the site grew, she was asked to write a weekly article and later on was asked to join the admin team. Today she manages a group of Dave's Garden writers, writes a weekly article, and takes care of the Facebook pages for Dave's Garden, Gardens.com, and Quilting Board.
Her favorite plants are the wildflowers and natives that so many people call weeds. She loves the various legends, history, and lore surrounding them. Their importance to our lives has been all but forgotten and she loves digging up (pun intended) interesting tidbits to share with her readers.
Robert Ricasa is the product manager for DavesGarden.com. He is a Los Angeles native and has spent his entire life in the city. Specializing in project and product management, he offers a combined 12 years in these practices and is happy to work on an insightful website like Dave's Garden that provides guidance and enriches users with information. As a product manager, Robert is required to do a lot of research and comparative analysis. Resources like this are invaluable to the process. He believes it always helps to learn from others before applying it in your own way. It's a form of collaboration and plays an important role in growth personally and professionally, which will always help in developing features that stem from researching and understanding our community's needs.
Robert also enjoys working outdoors. One of his first projects when he moved into his new home in 2012 was redoing six hundred feet of landscape (that is considered big for Los Angeles) for his front yard. He incorporated a combination of tropical plants and drought tolerant plants. Robert even enjoys the maintenance of it so much that he never wanted to put in an irrigation system and prefers to hand water the entire area.
Marc is the associate project manager for Inhabitat. He was trained as a developer at California State University, Northridge where he earned a bachelor of science degree in computer science. As a frequently appointed team leader for class projects and group activities, Marc is used to managing tasks and hurdles while working with different kinds of people. He believes in solving problems from the root cause rather than providing a band-aid solution as well as making sure that quality is ensured over speeding through tasks. Moreover, Marc employs an empathetic approach to management, placing emphasis on people's needs when deciding which and how issues are addressed.
Marc loves spending time around nature and has been highly conscious of the changing global climate from a very young age. He believes that living a healthy life means in part coexisting with nature on a regular basis. One of his dreams is to live completely off the grid in a modest property by using technological advancements to efficiently gather natural resources such as rain and sunlight and use them to be able to live off his land. Until then though, he enjoys taking strolls and taking care of the many vegetable plants outside in his backyard. Marc enjoys articles such as "Scientists use bacteria to turn plastic waste into vanilla flavoring", which exemplifies the possibilities of nature and technology working together to create purposeful, high-desired products while reducing waste.
Gaurav Kumar is a Senior Web Developer at Internet Brands. He is leading the development of web application architecture using Laravel framework including vbulletin integration. Gaurav's work creates a more modular system reducing both maintenance time and costs.
Gaurav has worked on a location-based dating mobile app, custom content management system, and developed a slots game engine for Bingo Blitz, the #1 Bingo and Slots online game. He helps IT companies to add new features, create internal tools, implement UI changes, and improve performance.
When not travelling, Gaurav enjoys playing soccer, going on hikes, and planning his next vacation. His favorite plant is the peace lily.
Tyson Yen joined Internet Brands in 2012 as a community specialist for the company's travel and leisure websites. In 2018 he was promoted to community manager for the Home vertical division and now uses what he learned over the years to support the DavesGarden.com community.
He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his family, cooking, composing music, and occasionally gardening.
Tyson and his oldest son recently planted a few seeds from their Halloween pumpkin. His son was insistent on planting the seeds himself and since he's very young, and Tyson had doubts that plants would grow since they were not buried very well. A few weeks passed and they had forgotten all about the seeds until one day Tyson went to the backyard to take out the trash and to his surprise many of the seeds had started to grow. He showed his son and he was ecstatic. He wants to plant potatoes next.
His favorite plant is the peace lily. His family has two in their home and he and his wife are always amused at how dramatic they can be. If they go without water for a bit too long or dislike the location they are in, they droop down as if they are about to die. Once given a bit of water, they spring back up like magic.
Kelley MacDonald's love for gardening brought her to Dave's Garden as one of the earliest members in May 2002. PlantFiles, which showcases plants from all over the world, immediately caught her interest and has proven to be endlessly entertaining for her.
In 2009, Kelley started selecting photos from PlantFiles for the Bloom of the Day feature. Looking over flower photos was a perfect job for her, her only flaw was loving too many! A side bonus of this job was learning more about plants.
She also champions PlantFiles by sharing over 45,000 photos she has taken as well as photos from other people, many experts in their horticultural field, highlighting plants and gardens from all over the world including California, Singapore, Chile, Holland, South Africa, and especially Australia, whose flora she adores.
Kelley marvels that while she sits at home, she can travel the world of plants on the Dave's Garden site. Plants that she would never get to see in real life.
Kelley's favorite plant seems to be the last one she saw that was grown perfectly! It is impossible to pick just one. Among her favorites are the South African protea and the Australian banksia. Girly-girl plants like Verticordia and Eremophila are hard to resist. Lately the flora of Patagonia has been calling her name where so many plants sit by themselves overlooking one of the three oceans that border the Patagonia region. She lovingly refers to them as plants with a view!
Kennedy Harris was born in England in 1940 and moved to Australlia with his family in 1973. He has a great love for nature and has taken photos of large numbers of plants, birds, and invertebrates over the years. He found Dave's Garden in 2003, when looking for information on garlic chives and immediately began adding thousands of plant photos. His interest is mainly in wild plants and his gardening is often about trying to propagate the local native plants.
When BugFiles was introduced he contributed ideas and was later appointed BugFiles Administrator. He was given admin rights for BirdFiles as well when it was added a little later. He continues to contribute a few new plants, insects, and birds, but not with the intensity of the early years.
Kennedy has published a small book on the flowers and ferns of Morwell National Park, and just recently jointly published a book on the moths and lacewings of Morwell National Park. Morwell National Park is close to his home and is perhaps his main study area for all natural history.
A favorite plant is hard out of so many, but one of his favorites (growing wild in his area) is the Flying Duck Orchid - Caleana major.