There is food growing in South Los Angeles. This, many know. If you didn’t, then you are not reading the right news outlets, or blogs or talking to the people who live and work there. Original Green has the privilege of being a partner and client in an effort by USC planning students to address food security and provide recommendations for developing our co-working space and homestead for low-income entrepreneurs.
We know grocery stores have fled the area, increasing the “grocery store gap”. We know entrepreneurs have few outlets or resources for growing businesses. But, there is food there. It’s in the front yards planted by LA Green Grounds, who we are so pleased to have connected with on the homestead project. The consistent theme, seldom highlighted in articles about their work, is the building of community. At every site we have visited, residents either tell about connecting with neighbors and other locals or we’ve seen it in action in neighbors’ bags of shared produce. We will continue to be a partner and involved supporter of their great work.
We are also grateful for the support and assistance of Community Coalition, which has shared invaluable knowledge on the local food justice scene and their efforts to increase access to healthy options. Mobilizing residents is key and their work is well-known and respected on that front. In recent weeks, we also loved hearing that the Crenshaw Farmers Market is ready for more local food. We’re talking hyperlocal food…within 5 miles local! We were happy to hear from and talk to the folks at the imminent SoLA Food Coop and long-standing RootDown LA. And, we are ever grateful for access to Al Renner and the Solano Canyon Community Garden, to learn more about urban farming and opportunities for entrepreneur activities.
Our work over the past few months has entailed formalizing the homestead and co-work space. As we move forward, we add goals and narrow our purpose. There is a larger undertaking to achieve, of which the homestead is one piece.
There is food growing in South Los Angeles. The question is: How do we grow more of it and get more of it to the people who need it? We have an idea (always have) and are developing the homestead as a center for identifying and connecting the nodes of production, so that local entrepreneurs can engage in the distribution of healthy food. We are already organizing the first meeting of local stakeholders. Spring is going to be wonderful.