South Central Farm Update

Remember the SouthCentral Farm? It’s been six months since the farmers were evicted, and yesterday, the L.A. times had a follow-up story. “Tilling, We Meet Again” (because nothing draws ’em in like WWI-era references) describes how some of the evicted farmers are now growing food for their families on new plots under power line right of ways. This makes me happy, because I really believe in urban farming. Farms like the South Central farm, and these new ones on public land, as well as the community gardens around Los Angeles, are such environmentally, nutritionally and socially positive options that I’m heartened just hearing that the city is helping where it can.

The farmers have a rebuttal on their site, saying that the new farm doesn’t meet the needs of the 9th. I think, at least it’s something. What’s your take on this though? Do you think Los Angeles could be doing more to support community farming, and this is only a token gesture? Or do you think this is a really positive move by the LADWP and the city?

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3 Replies to “South Central Farm Update”

  1. Sure it’s something, but it seems that Perry and Villaraigosa were using this as a way of looking good without having really taken any strong action. I think the farmers’ concerns about powerlines are very important–it seems like they were given land that the city wasn’t going to use for anything else.

    While community gardens are crucial, I don’t think they’ll have the impact for social change that they could as long as their on parcels of land that are afterthoughts, while larger parcels are used for development. I’d like to see a major rethinking in land use (especially in communities underserved by grocery stores and where there just aren’t healthy options for food), but I know that’s not going to happen.

    Better than nothing? Absolutely. As good as it could be? Probably not.

  2. Thanks, Evan. I agree with your comments – and would like to add that I’m also a big fan of warehouse roof gardens. I heard that proposal for the first time at a presentation on sustainability in downtown L.A. last winter, and I liked it. It could be a compromise until everyone sees enough reason and realizes that development is not always the best long-term use for land.

  3. Please read the series in the Weekly by Daniel Hernandez about the people who controlled the farm and who got to farm there. He did a lot of investigation and found far more to the story that anything uncovered by the LA Times. This isn’t a bad-guy vs. nice farmers story.

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