Thursday, January 21, 2010

Urban gardens help feed and green L.A.

Bikes and tamales make a good combo at Mama's Hot Tamales near MacArthur park on the Urban Expeditions ride.

EatingLA doesn't only go on taco and lahmajune bike rides, but we do like it when there's some kind of food connection. So I joined up with the Urban Expeditions Urban Garden ride Saturday, sponsored by C.I.C.L.E., which is working to make biking easier around Los Angeles. Around 60 cyclists turned out for the ride which looked at several types of gardens and green spaces mostly around Koreatown. Starting from the Bicycle Kitchen, our first stop was the lush Rosewood Community Garden, where urban gardeners utilize everything from discarded kids' race car beds to wheelbarrows. Next we got to see the Eco-Village, a cooperative community based in a group of apartments on Bimini Place, with abundant gardens, chickens, grey water recycling, artworks, and above, a solar oven.

Next stop was Bimini watershed park, where community organizers convinced the city to close Second St. and let the naturally occurring stream run through a small park instead of burying it. At the Francis Ave. community garden, south of Wilshire, members of the garden grow traditional Mexican medicinal herbs, fruit trees, and vegetables, and they've also made room for a shady barbecue area where neighbors hold community meetings and children can play. We finished with tamales at Mama's Hot Tamales, which often utilizes ingredients grown by local gardeners, and then a quick stop at a private garden where apartment renters turned their small backyard into an ample food-producing area with composting, a pleasant pergola and several raised beds. This was an inspiring glimpse at what L.A. city dwellers can accomplish to green their neighborhoods and eat the results, and thanks to Joe Linton and CICLE for organizing it.

1 comment:

LisaNewton said...

Unfortunately, I was unable to make this bike ride, but your photos and text brought it home for me. Thanks!!

I love the idea of the many Los Angeles Community gardens, so much so that I mapped them.

I'd love to see more of these pop up.