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Re: community_garden digest, Vol 1 #2315 - 2 msgs

  • Subject: [cg] Re: community_garden digest, Vol 1 #2315 - 2 msgs
  • From: Yvonne Savio ydsavio@ucdavis.edu
  • Date: Fri, 13 Jan 2006 11:38:07 -0800

Re  1. Community gardens - common ground in Los Angeles (Don Boekelheide) 
in Vol 1 #2315 - 2 msgs (below)

Gardeners in Los Angeles County can refer to our updated roster of 
community gardens open to the public on our website.  Contact individual 
garden managers for plot availability.

Yvonne Savio
Common Ground Garden Program Manager
University of California Cooperative Extension in Los Angeles County
Mail:  PO Box 22255, Los Angeles CA 90022
Location:  4800 E. Cesar E. Chavez Avenue, Los Angeles CA 90022
Phone:  323-260-3407
Fax:            323-881-0067
Email:  ydsavio@ucdavis.edu
Website:        http://celosangeles.ucdavis.edu/garden/
Master Gardener Email Gardening Helpline:  mglosangeleshelpline@ucdavis.edu
Master Gardener Phone Gardening Helpline:  323-260-3238

Volunteers of the Common Ground Garden Program help low-income and 
limited-resource county residents to grow and eat more nutritious 
vegetables and fruits.  Programs include Master Gardener volunteers 
(seasonal gardening presentations) and Fresh From The Garden volunteers 
(simple nutrition and food safety presentations).  We work primarily with 
community gardens, school gardens, seniors, and homeless and battered 
women's shelters.

2004 Winner
"Feeding the Hungry"
Garden Crusader Award
National Gardening Association

At 10:00 AM 1/12/2006, you wrote:

>Send community_garden mailing list submissions to
>         community_garden@mallorn.com
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>When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific than
>"Re: Contents of community_garden digest..."
>Today's Topics:
>   1. Community gardens - common ground in Los Angeles (Don Boekelheide)
>   2. Sonoma supports community garden (Don Boekelheide)
>Message: 1
>Date: Wed, 11 Jan 2006 12:30:34 -0800 (PST)
>From: Don Boekelheide <dboekelheide@yahoo.com>
>To: community_garden@mallorn.com
>Subject: [cg] Community gardens - common ground in Los Angeles
>Together from the ground up
>Los Angeles Times, San Fernando Valley edition
>(posted Jan 11, 2006)
>By Lili Singer, Special to The Times
>Some gardeners want fresh, pesticide-free harvests.
>Some want their children to know how it feels to work
>the soil. Some simply lack a yard where they live.
>But if there's one thing that the boosters of
>community gardens do share, it's common ground.
>"You come here to forget all your problems and to be
>with other gardeners," says Ed Mosman, a retired
>electrical engineer who joined a Mar Vista community
>garden called Ocean View Farms in 1982. "We've had
>people meet here and get married."
>Adds Susan Dworski, a graphic artist, freelance writer
>and six-year regular at the same garden: "It's my gym
>and my church."
>Community gardens usually have rules: Straight-sided
>beds, tended by one or more individuals, are standard,
>as are annual fees, required work hours, strict
>organic practices and restrictions on fruit trees,
>tall plants or structures that cast shade. But they
>are also places of kinship and cooperation, as diverse
>as the neighborhoods they occupy and the gardeners who
>tend them.
>"Each community garden is its own entity," says Yvonne
>Savio, head of the University of California
>Cooperative Extension's Common Ground Garden Program,
>an umbrella organization that oversees and assists
>community gardens in Los Angeles County.
>The Francis Avenue community garden occupies a tiny
>lot in the Westlake neighborhood. Alhambra's plots sit
>on a leach field, so no manures can be used. The
>garden at North Hollywood High School straddles campus
>and an adjacent property that includes an orchard.
>Manzanita in Silver Lake may be the smallest. Its
>10-foot-wide plots run down both sides of a public
>staircase. The Long Beach garden, by contrast, is so
>huge that an entire section is devoted to growing
>tomatoes for a food bank. Savio says the Crenshaw
>garden is wonderful for its breadth of ethnicities and
>All offer the chance to bond with others in the
>community, often by tackling common challenges:
>foraging rodents, heavy clay soil or perhaps an
>infestation of late blight on tomatoes. Despite these
>and other frustrations finding and keeping a site,
>scrounging for material donations, resolving disputes
>the movement is thriving.
>Although the number of gardens is in flux, more exist
>now than at any time since the victory garden era of
>World War II, according to the American Community
>Gardening Assn. Most in Southern California have
>waiting lists; Ocean View Farms, one of L.A.'s oldest
>and largest, with 500 plots worked by 300 gardeners,
>has a waiting list of more than 100 people and an
>average wait of 12 to 18 months.
>"We've been doing this for more than a century," says
>landscape architect Laura J. Lawson. "It's always been
>hard and always been loved."
>Lawson, a Glendale native and former coordinator of
>Berkeley Youth Alternatives' Community Garden Patch,
>visited more than 100 spots while researching her
>book, "City Bountiful: A Century of Community
>Gardening in America," to be published in May by
>University of California Press.
>She found that interest in community gardens surges
>during wartime and when populations change because of
>immigration or de-urbanization in essence,
>"anchoring communities with gaps," she says. In the
>1890s the gardens were planted for sustenance, but
>over time they became recreational, social and
>"Community gardens are models of empowerment,
>self-sufficiency and social ideals," Lawson says. "And
>the people are so wonderful the organizers and the
>Frank Harris got hooked on heirloom tomatoes and Blue
>Lake string beans while working at the Los Angeles
>restaurant Campanile. He joined Ocean View Farms to
>grow items he couldn't find at conventional markets.
>He's now the garden's president.
>Dworski, the graphic artist and writer, says gardeners
>use their spaces in different ways and, in the
>process, learn from one another. She mixes roses,
>annuals, perennials, bulbs and edibles in a series of
>terraced beds but says her garden neighbor "really
>knows what she's doing."
>The Oak Park Community Garden in eastern Ventura
>County was founded on a formerly undeveloped corner
>lot in May. Caterer Bobby Weisman has enjoyed bumper
>crops of tomatoes and lettuce there after only two
>seasons. He says newcomers don't realize how much they
>can grow.
>"A 10-by-20-foot plot can produce a lot of food for a
>family of four," he says. "I tell my kids: The only
>thing it doesn't make is ice cream sundaes."
>Weisman visits four or five times each week and never
>brings his cellphone into the garden. "I stop by for
>five minutes and leave three hours later," he says.
>"It's such a reprieve from the world outside."
>Next to Weisman's plot is Kate Frankson's, a miniature
>English garden in which bands of dianthus and Dusty
>Miller contain vegetables and herbs. She attributes
>the abundance to good soil, organic fertilizer and
>guidance from another Oak Park regular, Jeanne Cope, a
>hospice social worker who started gardening at her
>grandmother's knee.

The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org

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