When I worked for the North Texas Food Bank, I had the privilege of visiting the Los Angelos Food Bank in 2005. I was there to gather information about a project to help the Food Bank improve a government food distribution program with the use of some new technology that Los Angelos had developed.
This was my first trip to LA and in particular south central LA, one of the poorest and economically deprived ares in the city. When I drove my rental car down, and past industrial warehouse after warehouse, I couldn’t believe that so much concrete had been poured in one area of this world! Upon arriving at the Food Bank, I parked next to what I saw was a huge block of green. The chain link fence at it’s border was completely filled in with green, not allowing so much as a little peek inside this wondrous, cavernous expanse of green space! About as big an area as the AAC and the surrounding Victory developments. It was such an odd and perplexing contrast of shapes and colors. At the time, I’d never heard of or really seen a community garden before that moment.
The rest of my trip was dedicated to my purpose, but in the back of my mind I kept thinking about that place. Seeing the 25 ft tall palms and banana trees hovering over the outer fences made me feel like it was a good place among a sea of nothing. I’m not sure why but that image stuck with me until I learned about happened to that community garden. Then, 14 acres of the largest and arguably the most beneficial and productive community garden in our countries history. I say that because I can’t imagine one that exists now to rival it.
The Magnolia is showing a documentary about “The Garden” on Wednesday. The following is the trailer for the documentary:
Wednesday, April 21
The Magnolia (West Village)
3699 McKinney Avenue, Suite 100
Dallas, TX 75204
The 14 acre community garden in South Central Los Angeles was the largest of it’s kind in the United States. It was started as a form of healing after the devastating L.A. riots in 1992. Since that time, the South Central Farmers have created a miracle in one of the country’s most blighted neighborhoods. Growing their own food. Feeding their families. Creating a community. But now bulldozers threaten their oasis. The Garden is an unflinching look at the struggle between these urban farmers and the City of Los Angeles and a powerful developer who want to evict them and build warehouses. (2008)
The following video is what happened: