Since I am now back on home soil and back to work, I have set up a Green Scene blog. I enjoyed writing a blog so much whilst in The USA that I will continue one back home in Nottingham. You can follow me here https://greenscenesite.wordpress.com/ for school updates and also scholarship updates, where I will be sharing my Urban Farm journey.
After a sudden and unexpected end to my trip, I have finally got round to uploading my last visit to City Slicker Farm; Oakland. This farm was an amazing place that has hugely inspired me and would be something that I could see working here in Nottingham.
City Slicker Farm’s mission is to empower the West Oakland community through the provision of healthy, fresh food by creating urban farms and back gardens.The farm boasts an urban farm, 28 plot community garden, a playground, lawn, a greenhouse and glasshouse and outdoor cooking space.
After a wander from the BART station through the residential area and a brunch stop at the most amazing diner; The Pretty Lady, I arrived at the farm. It’s a public green space, open to the community that serves a wonderful purpose providing fresh fruit and veg and growing space. This was explained to in conversation by the farms manager who was passionate about giving back to the West Oakland residents.
It has given me huge food for thought and I hope that in the near future I can create something similar for Nottingham…
The Demonstration Gardens are a place for growing and sharing everything from horticulture to bee keeping to quilt making. This gardens mission is to create a more sustainable future…
I accidentally stumbled across this place on my travels and jumped up on to a wall to get a sneak peak. One thing I love about American cities is you never have to walk very farm to stumble upon a garden or green project!
Located downtown San Francisco in the Tenderloin neighborhood this is a vibrant example of urban growing.
Tenderloin neighbourhood has no grocery store so limited access to fresh fruits and vegetables for its low-income residents. With this is mind, the garden was created by the Tenderloin Neighbourhood Development Corporation to promote the food justice; basic human right of access to fresh foods.
This garden is a vital park of the community which is evident from their thriving crops such as corn, cabbages, artichokes, herbs etc. Since the garden was established in 2010, the have since expanded to 4 rooftop locations that produce enough food to donate to 400 families each year; all for free!
What an inspiring little place that looked glorious under blue skies. I must also add how wonderful their wall mural is!
Such amazing work; growing in downtown San Fran in the name of food justice! !!!
Sadness prevails particularly here in California. What an awful and unbelievable outcome to witness first hand here in America.
The elections; the horror that Trump has become America’s next president has left many people here in California very unhappy to say the least.
I’m personally horrified and scared for what lies ahead; as if Brexit wasn’t bad enough. Tonight, a march through San Francisco where hundreds of anti-trump locals carried boards and shouted in distaste at such a sad reality.
I watched, walked and sobbed in fear of what lies ahead and the reality of what has become.
Today I had the opportunity to meet with Growgood Urban Farm in Bell, 2.5 hours away from my place in Hollywood. I found this urban farm with a difference online and had my first encounter with them via a phone conversation last week.
I was met at the farm by Jayne; their lovely programme cultivator who gave me a tour of their site. GrowGrow is located on an industrial estate in Bell which really makes this place magical. It was amazing to see such a thriving ecosystem existing in an otherwise very concrete environment.
Adjacent to the Salvation Army Shalter; GrowGood is a 1.5 acre, not for profit urban farm serving the shelter fresh, organic produce. Not only do they provide wonderful fruits and veggies year round, the farm are also growing their own teas!
Jayne showed me their chickens, meditation space and native Californian garden which was alive with bees, butterflies background; quite a sight to see with factories in the background.
But the most special part of my visit was learning about their work with the shelter from a therapeutic point of view. GrowGood connect residents to horticulture through their farm, empowering people through nature for job opportunity and rehabilitation. Jaynes’s passion for horticultural therapy and the magic of nature meant we had a wonderful cconnection and conversation. Its amazing when you meet people who share the same passion and vision especially miles from home!
Powerful and moving work that I feel blessed to have witnessed… Thank you GrowGood
On a sunny Sunday morning I went to meet the community gardeners and Snoop the dog of Spring Street. These gardens were the first of their kind in Downtown LA and really are in the heart of the city.
The gardeners gave me a tour and explained how members of the community have their own plots and some are for the public; they even have some homeless gardeners!
The gardens are situation at the side of a multistory car park and they really are an inspirational example of how under used, weedy land can become a gardeners haven!
Thanks guys for having me, sharing your garden with me and YES to twinning with Nottingham… As promised I will see if there’s a Spring Street in my city and build a garden inspired by yours!
A completely different type of natural beauty… A CANYON!
Nestled into the hills of Beverly Park, this canyon is part of the Santa Monica mountain range. After a 2 hour walk/hike to get there, we finally made it to the scorching hot canyon.
A type of beautiful I have hardly seen before, cacti growing high in the hills and a baron landscape dried out by the hot sun.
I was slightly concerned with the visitor board which gave information about what to do if you come face to face with a lion or rattle snake!!
But we made it out alive to tell the story even if we did uber the last hour of the journey home!
Being away from home for this long has been a combination of amazing, exciting, tiring and challenging. Every day I have been so far out of my comfort zone (which I usually stay well within). I have also been meeting lots of people and learning all the time not only about the projects but also about myself.
So, when arriving here in Santa Monica for the first time in 4 weeks since leaving behind loved ones; my family, business and friends, I got a real sense of arrival and achievement.
I have definitely been in knees of some r&r and there’s no better place to get that than at the beach. Santa Monica really is such a beautiful place and I will definitely be visiting again!