About Our Cover Artist: Helen Krayenhoff

“Time spent in my garden growing my own food is fundamental to my sense of place in the world,” says Helen Krayenhoff, an artist, grower, and gardening writer whose association with Edible East Bay dates back to just after the magazine launched in 2005.

The image on our cover is one of eight paintings for a set of posters that Helen created for the 90th anniversary of Berkeley Horticultural Nursery in 2012. She’s been designing, illustrating, and photographing for the Hort’s website and newsletter, “Gardening Suggestions,” since 2010.

“I love the time I spend at the nursery, poking around all the different sections for inspiration. I always find something that needs to be painted. Family-owned Berkeley Hort is the oldest nursery in the Bay Area, founded in 1922. I am anticipating their 100th anniversary next year,” says Helen. Her longtime connection with the nursery started in 1994, the same year that she and partner Peggy Kass started their plant nursery, Kassenhoff Growers.

“We sold wholesale veggie starts for their vegetable section and ended up mostly filling it—with some mentoring from their buyer. In 1997, we grew 1000 alpine strawberry plants for their 75th anniversary.”

For years, Kassenhoff Growers has been selling starts at the Temescal Farmers’ Market in Oakland. As of this spring, they are moving all public sales to their growing space in front of the old West Oakland train station.

“Maintaining and nourishing my deep connection with nursery staff, farmers’ market customers, other farmers, artists and artisans, and neighbors has been fundamental for my sense of community, connection, and health during the crazy and devastating time of Covid,” says Helen.

If you’re interested in purchasing Helen’s art, you have many options: She will have planting calendars, cards, recipe books, and more at Kassenhoff Growers nursery sales at the train station. Grand Lake Ace Garden Center carries her cards, and you can also get products embellished with her designs at Society6.