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.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Aug 16th- Tomato Rhapsody! Italian Potluck, book reading and music!

RocknRoll Community Garden next Sunday Garden Party....! Hope to see you there!

Sunday August 16th - @ The Secret Garden of Schell

Italian Dinner Garden Potluck and reading w/ Adam Schell - yogi and Author of Tomato Rhapsody

Live Music by Seeing Thingz

Begins promptly at 5pm - til 7pm

539 N. Alta Vista Blvd., LA, 90036

Italian Dinner Garden Potluck!
Please bring a delicious, tomatoe-y dishes!

Need recipe ideas? Check Adam's site!:

This is a private location.

$5 - Suggested Donation

Garden lovelies! We are currently seeking volunteers to help out with future parties and projects! Please contact us if you feel you can join the team! : resistanceisfertilela@gmail.

Sustainable lovers! Please bring drinking glasses to donate to RocknRoll Community Garden parties! Let's keep it green, darlings!

RocknRoll Community Garden is currently working with a number of properties and seeking new properties to create a Communal Urban Rooftop Farming Community in Echo Park and Silver Lake. RnR CG provides weekly seasonal series of live music and lectures, integrating education, activism and community with beauty and art.

- Love & Sustainable Living,
RocknRoll Community Garden

Tomato Rhapsody
A Fable of Love, Lust & Forbidden Fruit
by Adam Schell

From Publishers Weekly
From the very beginning of Schell's debut novel, a would-be Shakespearean fable set in a 16th-century Tuscan village, food lust takes center stage. While cruel-hearted olive tycoon Giuseppe and his underling, Benito, forage for truffles, the Jewish farmer Davido worships the tomato plants on his farm: the plant's fragrance... transcended his olfactory organs to purify his heart and cleanse his mind. When the new priest allows Davido's love apples into town for the first time, life starts to get complicated. For one, the stepdaughter of our villain, Giuseppe, falls for the already betrothed Davido—an outcast besides, due to his station and religion. Bawdy hijinks coded in ribald Italian reach a climax at the village's Feast of the Drunken Saint donkey race, a jarring spin on Shakespeare's more tawdry rhymes. Attempts at a similarly Shakespearean cast of characters (the novel opens with an actual cast of characters) instead result in a silly collection of one-dimensional characters who keep the tale moving until the fate of our star-crossed lovers, and of tomato sauce, are predictably resolved. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

“[A] delectable debut.... Schell displays the finesse of a master chef as he spices up the story with a delicious array of humorous subplots.”—Booklist

Seeing Thingz

Don't miss the beautiful freaks. Music that fills your mind with a world of circuses, street corners far and near and eerie beauty, sensual reminisces of times and places you've only dreamed of. Let Seeing Thingz carry you away with their sinuous dynamics and grooves that simmer: Gwendoline sings the imagery, sketching outlines with a haunting, ethereal voice. Daniel Day blends complimentary colors with her and fleshes out the compositions, texturing the songs with gripping vocal counterpoint. Doug Townsley twirls beautiful touches and accents on the guitar and earth colors on the bass while David Rodgers roots the foundation and sends ripples and grooves across the room. "Love Making Music" Xanthia Pink "Quirky soundwaves rumbling through exotic locations" The Seething Times "Hey, where the hell are you from, are you gypsies?" Passing Vagrant Courier. "When I closed my eyes I thought I was in Europe, then I smelled I was in Venice Beach" Local Wag Rag. Transporting places to far away people since 2007.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Another Great Event!!!!

Thanks to all of you who came out, and special thanks shout out to Jack Neff, Sasha Gransjean, and Mary Tokita!

I'll be uploading a whole bunch of past event pics in the upcoming week.

Come have dinner and wine with us next Sunday at Adam Schell's Garden as we discuss the love affair of the tomatoes!
(RSVP Please!)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Free Climate Change & Phenology Workshops

Climate Change and Phenology Workshop

Dates: August 14th, September 10, September 18, and October 1
Time: 9 am - 3 pm
Location: Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, Thousand Oaks, CA

Who should attend?: Teachers, Environmental Educators, Nature Center and Museum Staff, Garden Clubs, Scout Troop Leaders, Scientists, and anyone else who enjoys being outdoors!

Fee: None

Planting the Seed for Citizen Science: Climate Change and Phenology Workshops for Educators and Scientists in Southern California. Have you been wondering about ways to integrate climate change science and education into your classroom or outdoor education & research activities? Come to a free, one-day workshop focused on climate change, citizen science, and phenology (the science of the seasons, such as when a flower blooms in the spring) to find out how!

"Phenology. is perhaps the simplest process in which to track changes in the ecology of species in response to climate change." Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2007

Help! Our climate is changing and scientists throughout the country need your assistance!Concerned citizens throughout the country are monitoring the pace of the seasons and contributing to a new national database designed to track the effects of climate change on plants and animals. It's easy to do on your own or with a group of students. Join us at one of our upcoming workshops and learn how you can participate in the project.

The Phenology Stewardship Program at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) is offering four workshops this summer and fall in partnership with the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (NPS). Educators, scientists, and citizen scientists are invited to attend a day of engaging discussions, hands-on activities, and brainstorming sessions to incorporate phenology monitoring into your scientific or education efforts.

What will you learn at this workshop?
- Botany Basics
- Phenology and its relationship to climate change
- How to integrate phenology and climate change into your classroom
- How to get involved in a national program to help scientists track the
effects of climate change on plants & animals

All workshops will take place 9am-3pm at the Santa Monica Mountains NRA Headquarters in Thousand Oaks and will include an afternoon field trip to the Satwiwa Native American Culture Center.

Lunch will be provided.

Choose one of the following dates: August 14 September 10 September 18 October 1

Space is limited, please RSVP to:
Kate Eschelbach (USFWS Education & Outreach Specialist): or (805)644-1766

If you have any questions, please contact Kate or the workshop instructors:
Dr. Susan Mazer (UCSB): or (805)893-8011
Brian Haggerty (UCSB): or (805)893-8066

SwanSong for the Lawn

Learn to Turn Lawns into Gardens -with Larry Santoyo & Friends
10am - 4pm | Saturday & Sunday Aug 15th & 16th | Santa Monica, CA | $28 /per day | RSVP
Join for one or both days...

EarthFlow Design Works' 10 year s of helping homeowners convert their Lawns into Gardens continues: All in one weekend!

Learn how to transform a water-guzzling lawn into a garden paradise complete with spiraling pathways, food forest with edible plants, medicinals, natives, Mediterranean, subtropicals -and plenty of bird, bee and butterfly attracting flowers too...

Get dirty, build a garden and learn the basics of sustainable landscaping, drip irrigation, permaculture, Food Forestry and sustainable living with one of the West coast’s leading and most experienced Permaculture Design Planning & Design firms, EarthFlow Design Works

“...Lawns cover more than 50,000 square miles of American soil and consume more fertilizer, pesticide and herbicide than all chemicals used in food related agriculture...”

Urgent calls to reduce consumer water use make headlines daily and farmers are concerned that sufficient water for crops is becoming increasingly scarce. Replacing lawns with gardens makes sense from any angle. Whether you’re a homeowner tired of mowing grass and paying huge water bills, a foodie who wants to become a "grow-your-own gourmet", or a concerned citizen who wants to learn more about food security, this community workshop will expand your knowledge and skills.

Interested in learning how??
RSVP -ASAP!! or Register Online here for the workshop

FREE California Friendly Landscape Workshops

For LADWP Customers

Learn effective ways to care for your lawn and conserve water through low maintenance, affordable landscaping practices.

Workshop Dates and Locations

Saturday, August 8
Baldwin Hills
4030 Crenshaw Blvd.

Saturday, August 15
Van Nuys
14401 Saticoy St., Bldg. #3

Saturday, August 22
Downtown -- Fashion District
1350 S. Wall St.

Saturday, August 29
West Los Angeles
1350 Sepulveda Blvd.

All workshops are from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Free parking available. Class space is limited.

To RSVP, email LADWP or call (800) 544-4498 and press "5."

Lower Los Angeles River Watershed Stakeholders

Compton Gateway: Symposium on Creekside Community Development.

The conference will discuss the interests of stakeholders at the large development area that contains the Artesia Blue Line Station, Gateway Center, and the Crystal Casino. The conference will identify some community priorities for the site, and for the region, while acknowledging the complicated economic development, habitat restoration, and transportation issues that are present. This conference will explore an excellent case-study for creekside development sites all over the world.

The conference will be held on September 15 and 16, 2009. The cost of the conference is $60 ($45 before August 14). Scholarships are available.

To view an agenda and register for this conference, visit:

Monday, August 3, 2009

Sunday August 9th - 5pm

Sunday August 9th - @ Jardin Del Rio - Elysian Park Community Garden

Live Music by Sasha Gransjean

Talk by Jack Neff of "South Central Farmers"
and Chi Quong Breathing Technique Class "Relaxation & Mind Intent: The Primary Tool of All Life Forms"

Riverdale @ Crystal Street

$5 - Suggested Donation