Hi! I took a break from shegrowscities so I could focus on summer school, travel, and some good ol’ fashioned self care in the form of baking, yoga, and spending time with friends. Grad school is back in session, so I wanted to check in to share what I learned about urban farming, local food systems, and how communities can partner with them…..
Community gardens are economic investments
On a quick weekend trip in San Diego, I accidentally stumbled upon an urban garden next to a church in North Park. The garden is grown and maintained by the International Rescue Committee as a local program that invests in local refugee gardeners by training them in marketable skills and providing fresh fruits and veggies for the area! I loved this concept particularly because it is a win-win-win for the environment, neighborhood, and refugees who need support in assimilating.
CSAs are subscription boxes for local farm produce
CSAs are a great way to support local farms by cutting out the middleman. Simply find your local delivery/pick up location and you can pick up a box of fresh fruits and veggies on a weekly or monthly basis. Here’s how I found mine.
Partnerships are key for sustainable urban farming
Lastly, I am excited to share that I spent the summer also working closely with my local church in La Mirada to launch a pilot communal garden program through the on-site preschool! LM used to have a community garden space, but it has been gone since 2016. It took some research to figure out if this would require a conditional use permit/if we need anything from the county assessor, but I am excited to say the school will soon be experimenting with herbs, bee friendly flowers, and hydroponic systems! I will share more updates about this project hopefully soon…..
I am so excited to kick off my LAST YEAR OF GRADUATE SCHOOL! It will be challenging balancing work and academics again, but learning with my amazing cohort and being constantly inspired by the friends and faculty members I have met through the program keep me going. This year, I hope to learn more about how transportation affects access to nutritious foods, how planning tools can incentivize urban farming, and how planners of all backgrounds can come together to combat climate change through realistic, sustainable planning!
I want to sign off with this article my friend Kavina wrote for Medium about how to get started with your own garden no matter where you live– stay tuned for more content from her soon….