By Nancy Larner Ruschman

Introducing Eric James, a new-ish resident of Irvington Terrace who started the cool and quirky Tres Gatos (Three Cats) Farm & Community Garden. Tres Gatos is one of the stops on the June 24 Irvington Garden Tour! Also, did you know that Eric offers FREE produce delivery within one mile of Irvington for any order over $10? Visit soon and follow Eric and his adventures at Tres Gatos on Facebook.

Tell us a little about yourself and how your business got started.

I’m a former Accounting Manager from California who has somehow found himself doing Improv comedy and farming in Indiana. My partner and I bought a house on Pleasant Run Parkway that reminded us of the beach and came with a sizable yard that we weren’t sure what to do with. I’d hobby gardened in San Jose, but tres gatos farm June 2018never grew for market or had ambitions of being a farmer. While traveling around Holland in early 2017 I became enchanted with all of the urban community gardens, particularly in Rotterdam. There’s a tremendous amount of awe and inspiration one can get from seeing a beautiful green space in the middle of a dense city environment, and I realized immediately that’s what I wanted to do – transform a boring grassy plot into a functional community space that could also inspire others to find a passion in gardening. And so the Tres Gatos Farm & Community Garden was born.

How long have you lived and/or worked here in Irvington?

We bought in Irvington last April and officially made the move in July 2017.

How did you first hear of Irvington and why did you move here?

We were turned on to Irvington really by the house we ended up in – it is a quirky looking mid-century that stuck out like a sore thumb on the MLS listing. We also put a heavy focus on walking/bikeability since we’re a one car household, and Irvington is great for both. The diversity and creative energy in the neighborhood was also a huge selling point – we have so many neighbors who are artists/craftspeople in many ways and I owe much of the community garden build-out to their generous help. It’s also worth mentioning that the day we looked at the house included a walk over to Black Acre and Simply Divine Cupcakes, which contributed to the easy sell.

What do you do for fun?

Gardening, improv comedy, Downton Abbey, and traveling overseas (which is now exclusively a tool to escape the Indiana winter).

If you were Mayor of Irvington for a day, what changes would you make?

Bring all the food trucks and artists out to Irvington Plaza and have a street art extravaganza/swap meet. Or really anything that involves making Irvington Plaza functional. Is there resentment seeping through here?