It has been a busy winter at our East Los Angeles Learning Garden! Our Corpsmembers worked at the garden leveling a new area for additional community garden beds. These garden beds will serve as both an outdoor classroom as well as working beds for the community of Boyle Heights. In total, the crew excavated approximately 10 cubic yards of soil, constructed 13 (3’ X 6’) garden beds, and installed landscape fabric. The LA Corps will be ordering soil to backfill the beds next month.
The crew also provided maintenance to the existing beds by removing weeds from the walking paths, repaired the decomposed granite walking path, fabricated and installed a bulletin board and provided general maintenance in the form of weed and litter abatement.
Being that harvesting season ended in October, the garden had no community harvest days since then. We will resume our Sunday Community Harvest days this month!
In total, 12 young adult corpsmembers received marketable job training while working at the East LA Learning Garden. They learned how to operate equipment such as our bobcat and a walk-behind trencher, used multiple hand tools, learned plant and tree identification and light carpentry.
Thank you for continuing to make these opportunities possible for our corpsmembers and this urban garden thrive.
If you would like to make another contribution to the East LA Learning Garden, please consider donating on Wednesday, February 12th- the 1st Global Giving Bonus Day of 2014! Donations will be matched at 30% (until funds run out) and a $1000 award will be given to the project that as the most contributions on that day. We would be very grateful if you could share this Bonus Day information with your social networks.
If you’re interested in visiting our special garden, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or come by on our Harvest days, which take place on Sundays from 9am to 1pm. Remember to bring your baskets or reusable bag to take home some veggies!
Thank you again for all of your support!
As the holiday season quickly approaches, we would like to take this opportunity to THANK YOU – our wonderful supporters – for making the East LA Learning Garden a reality!
Over two years ago, Alex Lopez, the Director of our East LA Center, dreamed of creating a place where our corpsmembers could apply their construction, irrigation and landscaping skills to create a community space that would promote healthier lifestyles and offer fresh produce at affordable prices in an underserved urban neighborhood.
With your help, we now have a vibrant urban farm that brings the neighborhood together for weekly harvests, engages local residents in deciding what crops to plant and provides on-going learning opportunities for our young people. Corpsmembers have installed a rainwater capture system, built a composting center and learned about seasonal crop rotations.
“We are very grateful to all our supporters and partners who believed in our project and took action to help us make our plans and dreams come true,” said Alex.
In partnership with the LA Community Garden Council, the East LA Learning Garden has also provided donations of fresh produce to the Downtown Women’s Center, which provides 3 meals each day for their drop-in center guests. In the future, the Garden will sell some of its produce to local restaurants that specialize in “farm to fork” offerings to help pay for its operations, but donations to local food banks will continue to serve the community as well.
We invite you to come and join us for a Sunday Market Day (9am – 1pm) and to share this project with your friends! More photos can be found on our Facebook page (facebook.com/lacorps).
From all of us at the LA Conservation Corps, thank you for making a difference!
Fall has officially begun at the East LA Learning Garden and thanks to your support, new winter crops were planted last weekend during a community work day. Volunteers including nearby residents, local students and LA Community Garden Council volunteers gathered to plant kale, arugula, radishes, green onions, spinach, potatoes, beets, cabbage, carrots and cilantro.
In preparation for the event, corpsmembers practiced their presentation skills by spending several weeks canvassing the neighborhood, asking local community members what vegetables they would like to have planted at the garden. 77% of those surveyed expressed interest in attending gardening and cooking classes. Every Sunday, neighbors are invited to attend Market Day, where they can help harvest the crops and take home some of the produce at a nominal cost. The remaining vegetables are donated to the Downtown Women’s Center, which provides vital services and three nutritious meals each day for over 150 homeless women who utilize its Day Center. Your contribution is making a real impact every day!
Corpsmember Steve Bernal has been working in the garden since we broke ground in 2011. He helped terrace the hillside, build the garden beds and install the irrigation system. He has taken advantage of every opportunity that is offered, completing the Master Gardener workshops and participating in nutritional cooking classes. He helps coordinate Sunday Market Day – even bringing his mother (pictured below) – and works on the crew that is building Little Green Fingers children’s gardens throughout Los Angeles County (see the video link below). Steve has decided to become a chef and in addition to working for the LA Corps, he has two other jobs (one in a restaurant in Santa Monica) while also attending LA Trade Technical College’s culinary program.
Thank you for making these opportunities possible for Steve and all the deserving corpsmembers at our East LA Center!
If you would like to make another contribution to the East LA Learning Garden, please consider donating on Wedndesday, October 23rd - Global Giving's Bonus Day! Donations will be match 30% (until funds run out) and a $1,000 award will be given to the project that has the most contributions on that day. We would be very grateful if you could share this Bonus Day information with your social networks.
We welcome you to visit the East LA Learning Garden! Please contact me at email@example.com or come by on Market Day, which takes place on Sundays from 9am to 1pm. Don’t forget to bring your basket or reusable bag to take home some veggies!
Thank you again for all your support!
We are so excited that our photo from the Grand Opening of the East LA Learning Garden was selected as one of the 75 finalists to compete for $1,000 in the GlobalGiving photo contest!
The voting started yesterday and runs through July 31st. The winner will receive $1,000 for their project and the runners up will be featured for one day on GlobalGiving's homepage!
As our wonderful supporter, we hope that you will vote for our photo by clicking on this link: http://bit.ly/13nZCJF. You will have to confirm your vote through an email that will be sent to you (to ensure there is no robo-voting!)
We are currently 32 out of 75 - not bad when competing against cute puppies! Please consider sharing our post with your social media network by clicking on our Facebook link included below.
On behalf of all of our corpsmembers, students and staff, thanks so much for your continued enthusiasm for our East LA Learning Garden!
Since the Grand Opening of the East LA Learning Garden in February, we have harvested nearly 1,500 pounds of radishes, Swiss chard, lettuce, beets and spinach! The produce has been distributed to charitable organizations serving the homeless, including the Downtown Women's Center and the West Side Food Bank. We have also made fresh produce available to local residents, our corpsmembers, and to Community Services Unlimited for their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.
The Garden recently obtained its Growers Certification from the County of Los Angeles Agriculture Commission on Weights and Measures, an annual certification program that allows us to sell low-cost produce from a Farm Stand on site that will help fund operational expenses (i.e. water) and provide locally grown, fresh produce for the community.
Thanks to a generous grant from The Boeing Company, we were also able to install a rainwater capture system that could potentially harvest over 3,000 gallons of rainwater per year and reduce potable water usage and expense. Corpsmembers received classroom and on-the-job training under the guidance of program partners Terrasophia and the American Rainwater Catchment System Association to complete the project.
For anyone interested in getting their hands dirty, we have volunteer harvesting days on Mondays and will host some planting work days during the weekends this summer. For more information about volunteering, please contact Teague Weybright at firstname.lastname@example.org. The next crop is tomatoes...we hope you will come and visit the East LA Learning Garden soon. Thank you for your continuing support!
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