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Urban Farming

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 31, 2011 | By Lee Romney, Los Angeles Times
In a dense pocket of the Mission Terrace neighborhood, a quiet grid of streets near the city's southern edge, the afternoon fog rolls in over a rare sight: nearly an acre of land sandwiched between homes and planted with kale, exotic salad greens, bursts of flowers and fragrant herbs. The women who work this plot are pioneers. Their Little City Gardens recently became the first legal commercial farm within city borders. Thanks to them, San Francisco leaders revised zoning laws to allow the cultivation and sale of produce in all neighborhoods.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 6, 2013 | By Titania Kumeh
Karen Segura dug her hands deep into the soil of an onion patch at Bell Gardens Intermediate School as cars zipped past the nearly empty schoolyard. The 14-year-old was busy uprooting weeds in the school's edible garden, while around her five other students watered, tilled and pruned a lush assortment of fruits and vegetables. There were tomatoes, avocados, apples, pineapples, pumpkins, zucchinis, lavender, lettuce, Swiss chard and artichokes. Every public school in Bell Gardens has just such an urban farm run by members of the Environmental Garden Club, an after-school program that started at the intermediate school and now includes a rotating roster of 8- to 18-year-olds.
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BUSINESS
November 2, 1987 | BRUCE KEPPEL, Times Staff Writer
Leslie Labowitz-Starus is a performance artist whose latest work has become her life and her livelihood: Starus is an urban farmer, whose Sproutime farm, wedged into a greenhouse filling a Venice backyard, produces more than 3,000 pounds a week of 15 kinds of sprouts. Sproutime, with not so much as a single row to hoe, is the ultimate in urban farms.
NEWS
December 7, 2012 | By Lisa Boone
Steven Wynbrandt sticks his hand deep beneath the layers of straw that blanket his enormous compost heap and pulls out a fistful of black gold, sweet and earthy. “Look at this soil,” Wynbrandt says with excitement as his fingers open, revealing his secret recipe for compost: decomposed dairy cow manure, alfalfa, yarrow, camomile, stinging nettle, oak bark, dandelion and valerian flowers. “I'm an alchemist.” PHOTOS: The Wynbrandt backyard As further proof that compost is to gardening these days what grass-fed beef and gluten-free gourmet foods are to the world of food, the Wynbrandt compost heap photographed by the Los Angeles Times would later sell through word of mouth for $1 a pound.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 11, 2007 | Martha Groves, Times Staff Writer
Seventh-grader Melina Resto was far from thrilled at the prospect of spending her Saturday planting lettuce, sweet golden bell peppers and red cabbage at the Veterans' Garden on the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs campus. But by the time she and dozens of other student volunteers had poked several flats of seedlings into neat rows in a vegetable patch, she decided that the experience was actually pretty cool.
NEWS
June 30, 1996 | BRAD BONHALL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A.G. Kawamura--philosopher-farmer, builder of edible landscapes--steers his Chevy Blazer off the highway into a green-shimmering bean field. By all appearances, with a walkie-talkie in his lap, a pager on his hip and a cell phone on his ear, he is a high-powered grower stopping in for a 30-second inspection. But he immediately puts down the phone, seeking eye contact with pickers, whom he greets in well-accented, fluent Spanish.
FOOD
June 1, 2012 | By David Karp, Special to the Los Angeles Times
The Altadena certified farmers market, which opened last Wednesday afternoon after weeks of anticipatory buzz, is innovative and deeply idealistic. It showcases more than half a dozen small urban farms, most of which are selling at a farmers market for the first time, and the quality of its more established farms is high enough to draw shoppers from across the region. Of the dozens of new farmers markets that open in Southern California each year, all but a few are cookie-cutter affairs, featuring vendors familiar from other markets; more often than not, the primary motive is to draw foot traffic to nearby businesses or to generate profits for the organizers.
OPINION
June 15, 2006
Re "Lights, Camera, Eviction," editorial, June 14 It is true that some in Hollywood loaned their star power to the effort to save the South Central farm. But that is not the story. The story is one built on the idea of providing food at a neighborhood level, about community support in an inhospitable place. This was not a story cooked up by Hollywood; it was built by good people, and Hollywood was attracted to it. For The Times to just throw up its hands and say developer Ralph Horowitz "is entirely within his rights" is cold and cynical.
NEWS
December 7, 2012 | By Lisa Boone
Steven Wynbrandt sticks his hand deep beneath the layers of straw that blanket his enormous compost heap and pulls out a fistful of black gold, sweet and earthy. “Look at this soil,” Wynbrandt says with excitement as his fingers open, revealing his secret recipe for compost: decomposed dairy cow manure, alfalfa, yarrow, camomile, stinging nettle, oak bark, dandelion and valerian flowers. “I'm an alchemist.” PHOTOS: The Wynbrandt backyard As further proof that compost is to gardening these days what grass-fed beef and gluten-free gourmet foods are to the world of food, the Wynbrandt compost heap photographed by the Los Angeles Times would later sell through word of mouth for $1 a pound.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 30, 2006 | AL MARTINEZ
THERE was a forlorn quality to the embattled urban farm on the day I visited. Bulldozers had already begun plowing under areas within the 14-acre plot that had once been rich in the agriculture of the people. The sound of a flute drifted over the lost urban oasis like a woman's cry, adding to the melancholy nature of the scene.
NATIONAL
October 4, 2012 | By Michael Muskal
City planners, nutritionists and others have been pushing urban farming in recent years, but the movement appears to have taken a different twist in Chicago. Police there have seized about 1,500 plants worth as much as $10 million from an outdoor marijuana farm. The plants were growing on an area the size of two football fields near Bishop Ford Freeway on the city's far South Side. A police helicopter spotted the bright green plants from the air and, by Wednesday, authorities had confirmed the finding and taken control of the plants.
FOOD
June 1, 2012 | By David Karp, Special to the Los Angeles Times
The Altadena certified farmers market, which opened last Wednesday afternoon after weeks of anticipatory buzz, is innovative and deeply idealistic. It showcases more than half a dozen small urban farms, most of which are selling at a farmers market for the first time, and the quality of its more established farms is high enough to draw shoppers from across the region. Of the dozens of new farmers markets that open in Southern California each year, all but a few are cookie-cutter affairs, featuring vendors familiar from other markets; more often than not, the primary motive is to draw foot traffic to nearby businesses or to generate profits for the organizers.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 31, 2011 | By Lee Romney, Los Angeles Times
In a dense pocket of the Mission Terrace neighborhood, a quiet grid of streets near the city's southern edge, the afternoon fog rolls in over a rare sight: nearly an acre of land sandwiched between homes and planted with kale, exotic salad greens, bursts of flowers and fragrant herbs. The women who work this plot are pioneers. Their Little City Gardens recently became the first legal commercial farm within city borders. Thanks to them, San Francisco leaders revised zoning laws to allow the cultivation and sale of produce in all neighborhoods.
OPINION
May 29, 2011 | By Andrea Wulf
As America's gardeners dig, plant, weed and grow lettuce, beans and tomatoes in their vegetable plots this summer, they are part of a tradition that harks back to the beginnings of the United States. Just by working on a compost pile this weekend, you'll be in good historical company. The first four presidents of the United States — George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison — were all utterly obsessed with manure and recipes for compost. Adams even jumped into a stinking pile when he was America's first "minister plenipotentiary" to Britain in London in 1786.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 7, 2010 | By Kate Linthicum, Los Angeles Times
After a hot morning of work, David Kahn and his farmhands sat down to lunch at a long wooden table on the porch. Today's feast featured a salad of juicy heirloom tomatoes picked from vines just a few feet away, pasta and pesto made with homegrown cilantro, and a crusty loaf of wheat bread baked the day before in an outdoor clay oven. If there are any doubts about the viability of Edendale Farm ? which Kahn built, improbably, on a sloping half acre smack in the middle of a swanky Silver Lake neighborhood ?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 11, 2007 | Martha Groves, Times Staff Writer
Seventh-grader Melina Resto was far from thrilled at the prospect of spending her Saturday planting lettuce, sweet golden bell peppers and red cabbage at the Veterans' Garden on the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs campus. But by the time she and dozens of other student volunteers had poked several flats of seedlings into neat rows in a vegetable patch, she decided that the experience was actually pretty cool.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 28, 1985 | MAYERENE BARKER, Times Staff Writer
For 41 years, Grant Nielson and his students have tended pigs, cattle, sheep, turkeys, ducks, geese, chickens and rabbits on the five-acre Van Nuys High School farm, but the barnyard's days are numbered. Nielson, 66, retired in June from his teaching job. With interest from urban students dwindling, administrators eliminated the school's animal-science classes, which, like Nielson, had their roots in the San Fernando Valley's agricultural past.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 7, 2010 | By Kate Linthicum, Los Angeles Times
After a hot morning of work, David Kahn and his farmhands sat down to lunch at a long wooden table on the porch. Today's feast featured a salad of juicy heirloom tomatoes picked from vines just a few feet away, pasta and pesto made with homegrown cilantro, and a crusty loaf of wheat bread baked the day before in an outdoor clay oven. If there are any doubts about the viability of Edendale Farm ? which Kahn built, improbably, on a sloping half acre smack in the middle of a swanky Silver Lake neighborhood ?
ENTERTAINMENT
November 6, 2006 | AL MARTINEZ
IT'S just a big, empty lot now, filled with the savaged remains of what had once been an urban farm. Large piles of junk and garbage partially block the padlocked main entrance. Signs that once rallied a protest hang listlessly from a high metal fence. Five months ago, the 14-acre plot was a thriving garden of the people, filled with the crops that helped feed and support families in South-Central L.A. The garden disappeared under a court-mandated stamp of private property.
BUSINESS
August 14, 2006 | From the Associated Press
In the basement of an ivy-covered building on the surprisingly leafy campus of Brooklyn College is something even more surprising: thousands of tilapia packed tighter than a subway car into 300-gallon fiberglass fish tanks. Overseeing this watery domain is Martin Schreibman, a professor emeritus and the director of the college's Aquatic Research and Environmental Assessment Center.
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