About Big Mama

Big Mama and Her Granddaughter

Lois Marks (AKA Big Mama), a native of Cleveland, acquired her green thumb from her mother Mae.  Mae's parents owned the first Jewish bakery in Cleveland during the late 1800s.  In addition to being a good cook, Mae took pleasure in growing flowering plants and trees.  She used to spend time in her garden talking to her plants, which she thought made them grow.  

After taking a botany class at Miami University of Ohio in the 1960s, Lois became fascinated with growing all sorts of plants.  She experimented with different seeds to see what she could grow during the northern Ohio growing season.

In the late 1970s, Lois and her husband Howard moved to Miami, Florida.  Because things grow so easily here, her green thumb flourished.  In her backyard, you could find any number of orange, lemon, lime, pomelo, lychee, star fruit, avocado, and mango trees, tomatoes, herbs of all kinds, leafy greens like broccoli and kale.  As children, her sons would wake in the morning and run outside to pick fresh oranges.  Big Mama even got a blackberry bush to grow in Miami's humid climate, which her sons used to pick before heading off to school.

It wasn't until grandkids came along where Lois earned her famous nickname.  When one of her oldest granddaughters started calling her mama, Lois thought it would be better to be known as Big Mama so there wasn't any confusion.  The name stuck and the rest is history.

Big Mama's Backyard Garden is inspired by what Lois created in her backyard over all these years.  We only use fresh ingredients and do not use artificial flavors or preservatives.  We also support organizations that encourage backyard gardening so future generations can realize how easy it is to grow your own food...just like Big Mama did.