Friday, December 4, 2009

Echo Park Medicinal Forage with Nance Klehm

Echo Park Medicinal Forage with Nance Klehm

Wednesday, Dec 9th, 2009

Cost: $15/person

An after dark exploration of the sidewalk cracks around Machine Project for local medicinal plants, led by Nance Klehm. Get ready for the long winter dry, cold haul with simple knowledge on how to identify common wild plants that can be used in herbal remedies.

Nance Klehm is a radical ecologist, designer, urban forager, grower and teacher. Her solo and collaborative work focuses on creating participatory social ecologies in response to a direct experience of a place. She grows and forages much of her own food in a densely urban area. She actively composts food, landscape and human waste. She only uses a flush toilet when no other option is available. She designed and currently manages a large scale, closed-loop vermicompost project at a downtown homeless shelter where cafeteria food waste becomes 4 tons of worm castings a year which in turn is used as the soil that grows food to return to the cafeteria.

More information on Nance can be found at her website, here:
Spontaneous Vegetation

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Big Sunday

Big Sunday Weekend 2010 will be on May 1 and 2. As always, there will be hundreds of ways for you to pitch in, help out, and give back throughout Southern California. And, as always, whoever you are, whatever you do, we can use your help!Here’s some news for you:

It’s not too early to find out how to get your school, faith group, business, club, nonprofit – or even your town – involved in Big Sunday. We’ll be hosting our famous Big Sunday info meetings again this year. The first one will be from 3 PM to 5 PM onSunday, November 8th at our office, 7319 Beverly Blvd., L.A., CA 90036. Find out what’s new for 2010, and some of the great ways your community can help others, be helped, or some of both. There will be good food, good vibes, free parking, and no commitment.

Everyone is welcome! To RSVP, please go to: Or on Facebook:

Do you want to get more involved in planning Big Sunday? We need help all year long, and we’d love to have you! Contact Sherry at
The 7th (or 8th) Annual Big Sunday Holiday Giving and Volunteering Opportunities List – a catalogue of the many ways you can help others from Thanksgiving to New Year’s– will be posted on our website the week of November 1st. To post your nonprofit’s holiday needs, go to (and fill it out ASAP!).

Mark your calendars: The 2nd Annual Big Sunday Holiday Open House will be held from1-to-4 PM on Sunday, December 6th at the Big Sunday office. It will be a great time to see old Big Sunday friends and meet new ones, too. Of course, there will be ways to help out, pitch in, and give back. (Great food, too.) More details to come!
Does your company want to be a Big Sunday sponsor? Big Sunday is always free to everyone. If your company wants to be a sponsor (and there’s lots of great reasons to be one), contact Tracy at For that matter, if you want to donate now, just click here: It’s easy (and tax-deductible)!

Thanks as always,
David T. Levinson
Founder and Executive Director
Big Sunday

Ecoliteracy Workshop @ Milagro Allegro Community Garden

Ecoliteracy Workshop

Ecoliteracy is about learning to understand the language of place. It is the foundation of all beautiful organic gardens that grow with little or no fertilizer or chemical pesticides and with less maintenance and water than conventional gardens. To be ecoliterate is to be versed in Nature’s language. Learning it is easier than you might think!

Saturday, November 7, 2009 9am-­6pm
Cost: $40

Pre-register by November 3 by sending a check to the instructor,
Wendy Talaro P.O. Box 7478; Torrance, CA 90504
or via PayPal to

Class size is limited; Bi-lingual instruction
More info: 310-329-5719

Garden Location: 115 S. Ave 56, LA 90042
One block SE of Figueroa­Behind the Highland Theater

LA Urban Chickens...

The Los Angeles Urban Chicken Enthusiasts have had two meetings since forming in August 2009. We have an upcoming meeting November 14 at 2:00pm and hope to meet regularly every month. So far our meetings involve a lot of sharing of information between more experienced chicken keepers and those who want to get chickens or are otherwise just starting out. We rotate around the Los Angeles area for each meeting, gathering at a different member's home each time. The goal of the group is to foster community and to provide information and advice on urban chicken keeping.

You can find us online at

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Gathering of the Community Gardens

The Los Angeles Community Garden Council presents its third annual “Gathering of Community Gardens” Oct. 24 and 25, a weekend celebration of urban agriculture with an educational conference on Saturday and a Sunday garden tour. Both events are free to local residents and will occur in downtown Los Angeles. A donation of $10.00 each day is requested for attendees.

Space at both events is limited; early online registration is recommended at Event information: (323) 666-2137.

“One good outcome from our bad economy is that more people are growing their own food,” said Al Renner, the Garden Council’s executive director. “Community gardens have been in LA for 30 years, but we’ve never been busier. The ‘Gathering’ is an invitation to learn, collaborate and take action together to help people grow food and create green space in our neighborhoods. Our Sunday garden tour will illustrate how every garden is unique, with its own style and vision.”

The Saturday conference, which will run 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at FarmLab (1745 N. Spring St. #4, LA, CA 90012), will include a series of workshops, discussion panels, networking opportunities and a resource fair for community gardeners throughout Los Angeles. Scheduled topics include beekeeping, organic vegetable gardening, composting and California horticulture, led by LA Common Ground (the LA County Master Gardeners) and other garden experts. Three workshops will be conducted entirely in Spanish.

Mirabelle, Square 1, and Larchmont Grill, three prestigious Hollywood restaurants that grow organic food at Solano Canyon Community Garden near Dodger Stadium, will serve lunch to on a first-come, first-serve basis to conference attendees. To minimize waste, all conference participants are encouraged to bring their own plates, cups and eating utensils.

On Sunday, the Garden Council will conduct a guided tour of community gardens, starting and ending at Solano Canyon Community Garden, a 3-acre urban farm just east of downtown LA (545 Solano Rd, LA, CA 90012). Beginning at 8 a.m., the tour will visit gardens in downtown LA and surrounding areas. Most of these gardens, run by volunteers and serving local neighborhoods, are rarely open to the public at large.

The Los Angeles Community Garden Council is a 501-C3 nonprofit organization, dedicated to fostering community gardens and urban agriculture throughout LA County. The Council is largely run by volunteers and works closely with other nonprofit groups and municipal agencies, encouraging local residents to serve their neighborhoods by starting and managing garden projects. Representing over 80 community gardens on city land, utility property, apartment complexes, and private land, the Garden Council offers gardens and their leadership a variety of affordable or no-cost services, including group insurance, design assistance, mentoring, advocacy, and additional support as needed.


Calendar listing:

Oct. 24-25, 2009 – “Gathering of Community Gardens,” a free educational conference on urban agriculture and a garden tour presented by the LA Community Garden Council in downtown Los Angeles. The educational conference (Sat., Oct. 24) includes topical workshops and discussion panels, a resource fair, a slow-food lunch, and networking reception for LA’s community gardening activists. On Sunday, Oct. 25, a guided tour of community gardens in downtown LA and surrounding areas. Space is limited and early registration is recommended at: Information: (323) 666-2137. Suggested donation: $10 per day.

Oct. 24, 2009 - “Gathering of the Gardens (Day 1)” a free educational conference on community gardening, offering topical workshops, networking, a resource fair, lunch by three slow food restaurants, and a networking session and celebration for LA’s urban gardening activists. 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at FarmLab, 1746 N. Spring St., LA , CA 90012. $10.00, suggested donation. Online registration: Information: (323) 666-2137.

Oct. 25, 2009 – “Gathering of Community Gardens,” a free guided tour of LA’s diverse community gardens in the downtown corridor areas and surrounding areas. Starts at 8:00 a.m. at Solano Canyon Community Garden, 545 Solano Rd., LA 90012. $10.00, suggested donation. Advance registration required: Information: (323) 666-2137.

Third Annual Gathering of Community Gardens, Sat.-Sunday Oct. 24-25, 2009

Your invitation:

Third Annual Gathering of Community Gardens, Sat.-Sunday Oct. 24-25, 2009

A free weekend of education, networking and inspiration for growing greener, healthier LA neighborhoods!

Saturday – Gardener Conference, 8 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Sunday – Garden Tour, 8 a.m. –noon

1745 North Spring St. , #4
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Top 10 Reasons to Attend:

1. Breakfast by HomeGirl Café served (Saturday, 8 am)!

2. Meet LA City Councilmember Ed Reyes, champion of numerous community gardens in Los Angeles (Saturday, 9 a.m), along with hundreds of garden activists and community organizers

3. Attend workshops on beekeeping, native plants, permaculture, chickens, soil growing, working with youth, becoming an agent of grass-roots change and more (in English and Spanish)! (Saturday a.m.)

4. Catered lunch provided on a first-come, first-serve basis by Larchmont Grill, Mirabella, and Square One. * (Saturday)

5. Learn how community gardens can connect with local residents to access fresh produce and live healthier lives! (Saturday p.m.)

6. Discover community resources for gardeners! (Saturday p.m.)

7. Experience the art-inspired facilities of FarmLab in downtown LA! (Sat., 8-4)

8. Take a guided tour of 8 community gardens and meet their leaders! (Sunday, 8-12)**

9. Free parking and free admission! (Online registration recommended:

10. Join the LA Community Garden Council and help us grow food and greenspace across Los Angeles County.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Conference of Community Gardens

The Los Angeles Community Garden Council will be holding its 3rd annual "Conference of Community Gardens" on October 24 & 25, generously hosted at the Farmlab campus just north of downtown LA. The two-day conference will feature workshops, information booths and break-out sessions on Saturday, and tours of six of Los Angeles' 80 community gardens on Sunday. This educational and ecological gathering will be an opportunity to meet some of the leaders in community gardens in Los Angeles and a chance for gardeners to network. The conference is free with a suggested $10 donation; lunch will be provided on Saturday on a first come, first served basis. To register for the conference, go to and click on "register now".

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Thanks for an amazing summer!!!!

RocknRoll Community Garden wants to thank you for making our first Summer Series such a success! We learned so much, we listened to so many great local bands, we discovered new green areas of LA we had never before seen! What a summer!

Thank You so much to all the lecturers, demonstrators, speakers, artists, musicians, volunteers, hosts, gardens, gardeners, LA Community Garden Council Mnembers, and everyone who came to visit, check it all out, learn something new, make new friends, hear some sweet music..uh...and anything else I may have forgotten to throw in there!

We are on our fall downtime currently - Danielle is WWOOFing...! but if you are an interested volunteer, or host space, or just want to drop us a line, email us this fall at

We look forward to rocking out with all of you in '10! (and hopefully on our own roof by then ;)

love and tomatoes,

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

30th Anniversary Celebration of Certified Farmers' Markets in LA

The City of Los Angeles will mark the 30th anniversary of certified farmers' markets in the Los Angeles area with a celebration at City Hall:

When: Thursday, September 3, 2009, from 10:00am until 2:00pm
Where: Arts District/Little Tokyo, Certified Farmers' Market on the lawn at Los Angeles City Hall, 1st and Spring Streets
Cost: Free

Confirmed guests and activities include: Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Councilmember Jan Perry, Robert Tse, Kurt Floren, Vance Corum and other organizers of Los Angeles's first farmers' markets, including 20 original farmers and organizers from the first market in Gardena; Evan Kleiman, Jonathan Gold, Nancy Silverton, Mary Sue Milliken, Eric Lukosky, urban farmers and gardeners including representatives from the Stanford Avalon garden in Watts, the 24th Street Foundation, and the Garden School Foundation, and many others.

Complete details about participants and events such as SEE-LA's "Taste the Harvest" booth, a salsa contest, and food vendors and artisans are available on the Locally Grown LA website at:

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Stanford Avalon Community Garden Event in Watts

The RocknRoll Community Garden cordially invites you to a Garden Party in Watts, 5-7pm this Sunday, Aug 30th.

The 4-year-old Stanford Avalon Community Garden is the site for our last event this summer. Meet filmmaker Scott Kennedy ("The Garden"), tour 7 acres of urban farmland shared by over 200 families, most of whom came from the former community garden at 41st and Alameda. Live music by the Cigarette Bums.

Please feel free to bring snacks to share! We will bring some goods to bbq along with some tasty drinks!

5-7pm (sharp!)

Stanford Avalon - Watts Community Garden
658 E 111th Pl, Los Angeles, 90059

Stanford Avalon

Monday, 20 November 2006

Five months after sheriff's deputies shut down a legendary urban farm in South Los Angeles — removing protesters and
plucking celebrities from trees — more than 60 of the farmers have put down new roots in Watts. A quilt of rectangular plots has transformed a narrow power-line right-of-way stretching from 103rd to 117th streets near Avalon
Boulevard. Where weeds once bunched against steel towers, tall rows of corn and sunflowers wave. Chayote vines climb over fences. Purple-flowered alache nod in the breeze. Manuel Abalos lives just blocks from the old South-Central Urban Farm at 41st and Alameda streets. But he doesn't dwell on its loss, so eager is he to arrive at his new plot near 111th Street each day at 3 a.m. He works until 2 or 3 in the afternoon tending the onions, tomatoes and other vegetables he gives to his family and neighbors. "I'm happy all the time when I'm in the garden," Abalos said, beaming beneath a battered straw hat.
On Saturday, Abalos put down his hoe long enough to mark the formal opening of the Stanford/Avalon Farm on land owned by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. The gala was part of a city-sponsored "Day of Service" that drew 4,500 volunteers to Watts to plant trees, paint murals and clean up schools and parks. The farmers began tilling the soil at their new farm — about two-thirds the size of the old one — in January, after it became apparent to many of them that the South Los Angeles farm they had worked since 1992 could not be saved.

The old farm had a storied past. In 1986, the city used eminent domainto buy the land from owner Ralph Horowitz, but nearby residents quashed plans to build a trash incinerator. The lot sat empty until after the 1992 riots, when the city leased the land to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank and the city's largest community garden sprouted.

In 2003, Horowitz sued to buy back the land. But by then it had become as much a community center as a garden. When Horowitz began trying to evict the farmers, it also became a symbol of self-reliance and hope in a neighborhood with too little of either. Celebrities, including Joan Baez and Martin Sheen, supported the farmers. Daryl Hannah climbed a walnut tree and refused to come down.

Things turned ugly at the end. Horowitz called the farmers squatters and accused some of the protesters of making anti-Semitic remarks about him. In June, sheriff's deputies forcibly shut down the farm. Those who moved to the Stanford/Avalon Farm left months before the bullhorns and bulldozers arrived. "There was always a group of people who just wanted to garden. They just wanted to farm," said Councilwoman Jan Perry, whose district was home to the disputed farm. "It was great to be able to offer people a solution to a difficult situation. This is a beautiful ending — no,
it's a beautiful beginning, actually."

Perry searched Los Angeles by helicopter, working with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the DWP to find vacant public land for the farmers. "I said from the beginning that I would do everything I could to find other sites," said Villaraigosa, who stopped by the Stanford/Avalon Farm on Saturday to turn a shovel and dance to a mariachi tune. Juan Mendez kept a firm grip on his son Andrew's shoulder as the ever-energetic Villaraigosa steered a Caterpillar past them. A farmer at the old site, Mendez has applied for a plot in Watts. Abalos estimated that about half of the South L.A. farmers either had plots or
were on the waiting list. The nine-acre Watts site has room for just over 200 family farms. The 14-acre South-Central Urban Farm supported about 350 farmers. Some of the other former farmers have found new plots at other Los Angeles community gardens, the Watts farmers said. And some continue to fight Horowitz in court. They recently lost an appeal and are trying to raise funds to buy back the land, said Olivia Chumacero of the Annenberg Foundation, a philanthropic group that made an unsuccessful offer to buy the farm.

Los Angeles has about 70 community gardens, including at least one other beneath a DWP power-line right-of-way. The
volunteer Community Garden Council helps organize the gardens, and some funding comes from city block grants.
Each garden forms a governing organization, adopts bylaws and decides how much to charge gardeners for rent to cover the costs of water, portable toilets and fencing. Crown Disposal Co. of Sun Valley donated tons of wood chips and soil amendments for the Watts project. Not every Stanford/Avalon plot belongs to a former South-Central farmer. Monica Lopez, 18, lives across the street and tends a plot with her parents, three brothers and three sisters. The family had never
planted a garden; Juan Gamboa, a leader of the South Los Angeles group, showed them how. "Don Juan taught us what to do, what to plant, in what season," Lopez said. Perry praised the transplanted farmers, many of them Mexican
immigrants, for reaching out to Watts residents, many of whom are African American. None of them will have to worry about being booted out, Perry added. "They will be there for a very, very long time," she said. "They won't have to worry, because it's public land."

This group of farmers were formally of the South Central Farms, but are no longer currently associated with the activists who refer to themselves as the South Central Farmers. These farmers at Stanford-Avalon are prospering in growth from the last 4 years on this new land.

as heard on morning edition....

Monday, August 24, 2009

Two Silver Lake residents don't want to see cellphone towers take over
L-A rooftops. So they've presented lectures and music in community gardens most Sundays this summer.

The goal is to raise awareness and funds for a rooftop farm near Echo Park.

Co-director Danielle Holland "This is a perfect place between the weather and the flat roofs. There's absolutely no reason why we shouldn't be doing what is going on in cities across the world with changing the way that our landscape looks.

Holland says the garden now needs a structural engineer and an accessible site. Summer events wrap up this Sunday with music by the Cigarette Bums and a lecture by filmmaker Scott Hamilton Kennedy at the new site of the South Central Farm.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Urban Homesteaders & Dorian Wood - August 23rd!!!

Aug 23 - Live Music by Dorian Wood- Join Erik Knutzen & Kelly Coyne (Urban Homestead) @ Eagle Rock Community Garden for - Workshop: Make a Self-Irrigating Planter - 1003 to 11000 Rockdale Ave, Eagle Rock, 90041 5pm

Monday, August 17, 2009

Garden to Table

What: Garden to Table Event
Where: Whole Foods, 760 South Sepulveda Blvd., El Segundo, Ca 90245, phone 310-333-1900
When: September 5th 11a.m.

Don't know what to do with that growing pile of zucchini? Battling bugs in your garden? Please come join us for our first in a series of "Garden to Table" events. We are blending gardening experts from the University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners, with Chef Tim Mc Grath to create a dynamic presentation of what to do with your garden bounty. Chef Tim will be demonstrating delicious and nutritious recipes while the Master Gardeners field gardening questions from the audience. The event is free.

-Common Ground Garden Program

Pesticide-Parkinson's Disease Study

Pesticides in well water leads to Parkinson's Disease

Rural well water leads to Parkinson's

Free Your Garden!

Here's an excerpt from the Los Angeles Garden Council website. You can read more at

Speak out to legalize gardening in R1 zone

Free Your Garden!! In 1946, a Los Angeles municipal code known as the Truck Gardening Ordinance was written to allow the growing of vegetables in a residential (R1) zone for sale off-site. What this means, however, is that it is technically prohibited for city dwellers in R1 zones to grow fruits, nuts, flowers or seedlings and sell them off-site - at local farmers’ markets for example.

Happily, on July 8th, 2009, Council President Eric Garcetti introduced a motion to explore allowing “the cultivation of flowers, fruits, nuts or vegetables defined as the product of any tree, vine or plant, and that these products be allowed for use on-site or sale off-site.” This positive move needs support, and lots of it! The LACGC and some of our urban farming friends call this the Food & Flowers Freedom Act. Please take a moment to support the Food & Flowers Freedom Act by writing to your Los Angeles City Councilmember. Tell her/him you want to support urban farming in Los Angeles. Tell her/him you want the Planning Department to expedite their work and propose ways to fully-legalize urban farming in Los Angeles. Please cc Council President Eric Garcetti and send an email copy to Urban Farming Advocates – Los Angeles at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it To find out who is your local councilmember, go to this link:

Academy Award Nominee Best Documentary Feature : The Garden

"It's tempting to call "The Garden" a story of innocence and experience,
of evil corrupting paradise, but that would be doing a disservice to
the fascinating complexities of a classic Los Angeles conflict and an excellent documentary
that does them full justice."
Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

"Imagine if John Steinbeck rewrote the script for 'Chinatown'."
Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle

"The Garden" has all the elements of a John Sayles drama: hard-working immigrants, self-serving politicians, a greedy land developer and Daryl Hannah. Yet this intricate and compelling documentary about the tug of war over a 14-acre community garden in South Central Los Angeles paints a portrait of American politics not even Mr. Sayles could render more saddening.
Jeannette Catsoulis, The New York Times

The Garden
A Film by Scott Hamilton Kennedy


Tons of Extras

-Feature-length commentary track with filmmaker Scott Hamilton Kennedy, farmer and activist Tezozomoc, and co-producers Vivianne Nacif and Dominique Derrenger
-Back to the Garden: extended scenes, protests, and historical perspectives
-Post screening Q/A with filmmakers, farmers, Daryl Hannah and more
-Director interview with film critic David Poland (Movie City News)
-Optional English and Spanish subtitles. Closed Captioning.
-and more

Eat in & Harvest Celebration @ Milagro Allegro Garden

Please mark your calendars for a community "Eat-In" (or a Potluck with a Purpose) and Harvest Celebration at the Milagro Allegro Community Garden on Labor Day, September 7th at 4pm.

This Eat-In is one of over 200 coordinated across the country and 7 in Los Angeles as part of Slow Food USAs "National Time For Lunch" campaign, aimed at reforming the National School Lunch Program under the Child Nutrition Act.
The Child Nutrition Act is the federal legislation that governs the school lunch program and is up for reauthorization later this year by Congress. We can do better for our kids!

This event has a two-fold purpose:
* to raise awareness among legislators about the important and far-reaching effects of school lunches and encouraging them to make children's health a priority
* to celebrate the first ever harvest (YEAH!) with Milagro Allegro gardeners just 3 months after our garden's opening
Bring your family and friends; come and get to know your neighbors and... eat for a good cause!
Drum performance by the Taiko Drum Center of Los Angeles and the jazz music by Seabreeze.
This event is co-sponsored by Whole Foods Arroyo Parkway, Homegirl Cafe and the USC Childhood Obesity Research Center.

When: Labor Day, September 7th 2009 at 4pm
Where: Milagro Allegro Community Garden
115 S. Ave 56 Los Angeles, CA 90042
One block SE of Figueroa, behind the Highland Theater

What: Enjoy fresh food from local chefs and neighbors
Listen to live music and meet community leaders
Lobby for reform to the Child Nutrition Act

Please bring: A simple, fresh, homemade dish to share
A real (non-disposable) plate, silverware, and cup

Thank You!

Thanks so much for another fantastic event!!! Throw some tomatoes in the air for Adam and Tracy Schell & Seeing Thingz!!!

We hope you make it out to Eagle Rock for this coming Sunday's event!

Also, check out our interview for "Morning Edition" on KCRW. It will air Monday, Aug 25 @ 6 and 8am.