Whole Life Magazine

April / May 2019

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April/May 2019 7 city of angels With the high cost of housing in SoCal, having a backyard garden is but a distant dream for many people. Luckily there's another option — Community gardens! This wonderful resource feeds the need to see things grow, to nurture new life, to get soil under your fingernails. All around things are growing. The place is alive with busy insects and butterflies and splashes of colorful flowers. Here you can make a difference. You can grow your own food. Tomatoes simply are not the same in the store, after you've tasted hand- picked organic tomatoes. And, you can give back to pollinators by planting nectar-rich flowers and milkweed. Want to find a place to garden? Here are a few local ideas: OCEAN VIEW FARMS The garden I belong to, Ocean View Farms, oceanviewfarms. net, is a non-profit community garden in Mar Vista (established in 1977). Their extensive compost set-up is pure "black gold" that results in a rich, organic garden compost that is available for all members. In return, the members all contribute their spent vegetable plants to the compost pile. This is a very important resource. Vegetables will only be as good as the soil that goes into growing them. In Southern California, it can be difficult to keep dry, sandy soil rich and fertile enough for a good harvest all by yourself. Ocean View Farms is a large (500 plots) well-established community garden providing many resources for its members, including tools and a shed, a greenhouse, and an orchard with fruit for all members. And — everything is grown organically. No pesticides whatsoever. The bees say, "Thank you." SANTA MONICA MAIN STREET COMMUNITY GARDEN Located on Main Street between Hollister and Strand, this community garden has 73 plots. Available exclusively to Santa Monica residents, there's a long waiting list. To apply, fill out their application here: www.smgov.net/Departments/ CCS/form.aspx?ekfrm=42024 In March, the Main Street Garden was alive with blooming flowers, planted to attract pollinators. Recent rains have meant more butterflies, in particular Painted Ladies! It has also been a big help to the winter vegetable crops, including cauliflower, broccoli, and lettuces. WATTLES FARM Wattles Farm, wattlesfarm.com, with 300 members and 172 plots, is an unlikely oasis with a history. Located in the heart of Hollywood, this community garden was built on the grounds of a 40-acre estate named "Jualita," the winter home of businessman Gurdon Wattles. His mansion, built in 1907, is designated as a City of Los Angeles Cultural Monument. In 1975, an organic community garden was started on four of the acres. It was one of the first gardens begun through the initiative of Mayor Tom Bradley's community gardening program. Volunteers cleaned it up and saved hundreds of original avocado and citrus trees. According to the Los Angeles Community Garden Council (LACGC), we have approximately 125 in the county. To find one near you, visit: lagardencouncil.org/find-a-garden. For membership, application, and waiting list, contact the garden manager. If you're ready to get dirty right away, consider volunteering at a local community garden. No experience necessary. Check out: lagardencouncil.org/get-involved/volunteer. Get Dirty! COMMUNITY GARDENS By Kathy Vilim Photos: Kathy Vilim LIVE YOUR MOST HEARTCENTERED, INTUITIVE LIFE "Lee Harris is a rock-star medium. His insights are spot-on, his deliv- ery real and accessible. Energy Speaks, a profound manifesto for personal power, acts like rocket fuel for those of us who want to live more consciously and love more courageously." SCOT T S TAB I LE , author of Big Love "Lee Harris may be the most insightful, authentic, and caring energy empath I have met in a lifetime of seeking." M I K E DO O LE Y, New York Times bestselling author of Infi nite Possibilities www.newworldlibrary.com | Also available as an ebook

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