Ag Bins on Skid Row
Project Update, August 8, 2007 checks in today with colleague Jaime Lopez Wolters, a Farmlab agriculturalist who has long been involved with Farmlab's Ag Bins on Skid Row project.

Below is Wolter's report on topics including plant health, newly delivered bins, and rumors from the Row:

"On July 27th Farmlab delivered three more ag bin gardens to Travelers Aid, a.k.a The Teen Canteen, in Hollywood. This agency prepares three meals daily for youth in need and will be using the produce from the gardens to supplement these with fresh herbs and vegetables. At least ten teens were present during the delivery and they showed great interest the gardens.

"It has been eight weeks since the delivery of Farmlab’s ag bins to Skid Row. During that time, Farmlab team members have been monitoring the project and documenting some of the stories unfolding around these pockets of green.

"Interestingly, each group of ag bins has either sprouted a devoted local gardener or an entire gardening group, composed of people who either live at or frequent the various agencies that are hosting the gardens. The groups have weekly get-togethers at which they plant, water and harvest the bins.

"There is a definite variability in the productivity of the various gardens, which is likely the result of differing water and fertilizer applications. Master gardeners, who have now been paired with four of the five agencies, are paying weekly visits to the sites to assist with any gardening needs or questions.

"The two vandalized agbins at the corner of 6th & Crocker St., have been painted and replanted with much larger plants. One of the local gardeners said he overheard people saying they thought the bins had been placed to deter them from sleeping on the sidewalk. We hope a sign explaining the project will help people understand that this is not the intent.

"One of the most fulfilling things about this project is seeing people’s enthusiasm about these gardens. Whenever one is working on one of the bins, local residents come up and ask questions or share stories about their involvement with the project at one of the agencies. There seems to be quite a bit of cross-pollinating going on, with residents frequenting various agencies and sharing their experiences."

Click here to visit the Farmlab projects homepage, and from there, read more information about the Ag Bins on Skid Row project - including photos and updates



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