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    Program ID - bo011106

    City Farmers: Small Space, Big Impact

    For the low-income urban farmers of South Central Los Angeles, creating a 14-acre community garden has been a life changing opportunity. Over the last 10 years, its allowed many of them to earn a living and create their own access to fresh produce. The garden has been a vibrant green space where families can grow traditional ethnic foods and expose their children to a gang-free environment.

    So when their 14-acre community garden was sold out from under them, they decided to occupy, refusing to leave despite legal challenges and intimidation tactics. On January 13th 2006, a court decision will decide whether the 300+ South Central Farmers can be forcibly removed.

    "We're exhausted," said Tezo, a spokesperson for the garden. "But we're starting our season and everyone is looking forward to the harvest."

    Join host Jerry Kay to learn more about the South Central Farmers. He also talks to award-winning author Michael Olson, an expert on profitable small parcel farming, and well hear from an urban beekeeper.

    This Week's Guests:

    Tezo — Urban farmer, South Central Community Garden

    Tezo is a community organizer and one of 350 urban gardeners who helped form the South Central Farmers coalition after their garden was sold in a closed door proceeding by the city of Los Angeles after more than 10 years of existence. Located at 41st and Alameda streets, the garden is primarily used by the low-income neighborhood to grow papaya, nopales, huanzontle, maize, guayaba and other crops typical to a traditional Latin American diet.

    Michael Olson — Author, MetroFarm

    Olson cultivated his first crop at the age of six with what he imagined, at the time, was the world's biggest tractor. He has since participated in the commercial production of beans, beets, blueberries, cattle, garlic, hay, oats, shallots, strawberries, turf grass, wheat and wine grapes in the states of California, Montana and Oregon. He also consults on farm projects throughout the world, with projects ranging from the City of Watts to the island nation of Cyprus, to the jungles of the Amazon. His book, MetroFarm: The Guide to Growing for Big Profit on a Small Parcel of Land, was a Ben Franklin Book of the Year Finalist. Michael is also an award-winning journalist and hosts a radio program called Food Chain Radio in Santa Cruz, CA.

    Tom Chester — Urban Beekeeper

    Chester has been keeping honeybees in San Francisco for over 10 years. During that time period he has managed as many as 18 hives in different locations around San Francisco. He is a former president of the San Francisco Beekeepers Association and an energy consultant.

    More information:

  • MetroFarm

  • Los Angeles Indpendent Media Center - The South Central Community Garden
  • Vision Magazine - Third-space Farmers
  • USC Dailty Trojan - Protecting a home away from home
  • Los Angles Times - Seeds of Dissension Linger (PDF)

    Web Resources:
  • MetroFarm Website
  • South Central Community Garden
  • San Francisco City Food & Agriculture Report
  • Urban Permaculture
  • Urban Homesteading Path to Freedom
  • Bee Culture The magazine of American Beekeeping

  • Resources for Journalists:

    Journalists who are interested in researching stories related to any Beyond Organic show topic are encouraged to contact Straus Communication for additional resources, including trend data, background materials, experts, statistics, images and more. The service is free.

    Please contact Michael Straus at 415-777-1170 x 302 or email for more information.



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