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!
Pure paradise in LA… Situated at UCLA, this botanical garden is pure bliss. Tropical and tranquil, I spent hours here wandering around and exploring their amazing plant collection.
On a warm, sunny Californian day this was a perfect way to spend it; strolling around in the canopy of tropical trees!
RootDown LA is a not for profit, youth led organisation working in South LA. At such short notice, founder Megan happily invited me to meet the team and observe them in action at a team meeting. The organisation is committed to improving lives through food and nutritional education which has also expanded to farming.
For me, the most inspirational part is how RootDown LA engage with their young people through culinary arts, nutrition and farming. This really is all about the young people and a truely youth led iniative that employs staff members who were once programme beneficiaries.
The culinary lead, a young local gave me a lovely tour of the space (one of many) and explained about the Friday culinary class which engages school children in cooking. I got to see their new foodpod which will be used to wash and prepare produce grown, ready for distribution or cooking.
What an amazing amazing project; that really has young people, horticulture and community at its heart… I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to meet such an amazing group of people today to share in similar passions and motives.
It was wonderful to see people having such a powerful impact particularly with youths. It is exactly where I hope Green Scene will expand to in the future and who knows we may even have some LA visitors to give us the expertise we Need!
Megan and your team, thank you and thank you again!
And the Avocado tree in the garden, Wow!
Despite a grey start to my stay, I still had an amazing day in Santa Monica. Today the sun is shining and the sea glimmers in its glory.
The plants here are unusual and wonderful! Tall palms, aloe veras and veg planted all over.
Firstly, Santa Monica is AMAZING. I love it here so much for its laid back beach vibe and warm climate.
Today I visited this community garden on Ocean Drive which was just lush. Passion fruits growing everywhere, lemons, limes and squashes still thriving away.
These gardens are well looked after and clearly well loved. This first stop is just the beginning of a wonderful time in California researching and experiencing a brand new way of life.
And I can’t wait, next stop Beverley Hills!
Wow, this was a completely different farm visit and my very first experience of mushroom growing. PhillyGrown Farm is an urban, mushroom farm ran by farmer, Jack. The farm is located in an old factory building that has been transformed into mushroom growing paradise.
I was met at the farm by Jack, who has amazingly developed the processes for his mushroom growing and personally built special mushroom growing rooms! Jack gave me a tour of the farm and explained all of the different stages from spore inoculation to the growth process.
Mushroom growing is very scientific and requires accuracy and precision. I was pleasantly suprised to learn that the process is totally vegan and animal free, using rye and straw for the growing stages. It was fascinating to see these amazing and unusual mushrooms growing in cleverly designed growth rooms.
So, with Nottinghams extensive cave system surely we can give Mushroom growing a go and at least produce some NottinghamGrown button mushrooms!
Thanks Jack for taking the time to show me around and share your own methodologies with me… you should write a book!