Saving the L.A. Community Garden
Now the gardeners are being evicted because the owner of the land wants to build a warehouse. The Trust for Public Land stepped in and tried to raise enough money to buy the land and save the garden, but they fell short by $10 million. (And as a former fundraiser, I cringed when I read that they only had 45 days to raise the money. Ouch.)
So my initial thought was: Why must we take to the trees in times like these? But on second thought: If that's what it takes, I'd be right there with them.
In my opinion, we don't need one more warehouse to hold more "stuff"; we need more community gardens. As an urban gardener myself, this is near and dear to my heart. I see so many benefits of community gardens, going way beyond fresh fruits and vegetables. They create a real sense of community. They preserve precious green space. Members get involved in local policy making.
Our community garden sits on a prime piece of land in Washington, D.C., where everyone and his brother seems to want to build condos these days. My favorite is the "high-performance" condo complex that's going up near the Tenleytown Metro station. (What's a "high-performance" condo? Can someone fill me in on that one?)
I can't imagine how it would be if developers came and wanted to build condos -- or a warehouse, or whatever -- on our community garden site. You'd better believe that I'd be at every city council meeting and on every council member's doorstep. I'd camp in my plot if I had to. They'd have to carry me away kicking and screaming and wielding my shovel. I care about it that much. People sit on a waiting list for a year to get a piece of dirt where they can cultivate a garden here.
So I say to Joan Baez and Julia Hill: You go, girls! Whatever it takes. Community gardens are so worth fighting for. I'd be right there with you.
(Read more: "L.A. Urban Farmers Fight for Community Garden," by Jessica Hoffmann.)