Agbins on Skid Row Update:
'Gardens are Green and Thriving'
After bringing a group of Southland Master Gardeners-in-training to the various spots on downtown Los Angeles' Skid Row where 25 flora-filled Farmlab agbins -- a.k.a. planters -- were delivered three weeks ago, Farmlab team members Pete Natividad, Olivia Chumacero, and Jaime Lopez Wolters filed the following dispatch:
[PREVIOUS POST: WHAT IS THE AGBINS ON SKID ROW PROJECT?]
"The incredible thing to report is that the agbins are being taken care of by the community, with open arms. The gardens, in general, are green and thriving.
"Of all the agbins, the only two that suffered any damage were the ones on the corner of 6th Street & Crocker Street. (These bins, unlike all the others, are not directly connected to a sponsoring organization.)
"However, one of the individuals from the Lamp Village organization has volunteered to water and maintain those two agbins. This means he will be carrying buckets of water to make sure the plants have a fighting chance of surviving. The Master Gardeners-in-training also are pairing up with the organizations to assist in maintaining the agbins throughout the growing season.
"At the Lamp Lodge site, the agbins were lusciously green and overflowing with foliage. One gentleman, whom we'll call "Elvis," has been watering, and nurturing the four agbins -- and it shows. He told us that the word has been passed around the downtown grapevine that these agbins are for everyone.
"Some people have even brought packages of seeds of their favorite vegetable or flower that they wish to see grow. We heard stories that Row residents, same as Farmlab team members, are curious to see the future development of the agbins, as the plants begin to produce red tomatoes, cucumbers, cilantro, chili peppers, corn, daisies, mint leaves and –- can’t you just smell that pungent aroma? -- fresh basil.
"The agbins, we hope, have brought a least some small measure of beauty to the neighborhood’s often bleak surroundings. These small wonders, these silent gifts of nature, are perhaps bringing slight new hopes in very private moments to an underserved community."
Top of page: Thriving agbins on Standford and 7th Street;
Above: "Elvis," the caretaker of the agbins at LAMP Lodge, shows off recent vegetable growth; and, since their delivery three weeks ago, the agbins by H2CLA have been colorfully painted.