Farm Lot 59 wants to kickstart the future of sustainable food in Long Beach
2010-07-01 · By Editor
Talk to anyone who has ever followed the “100-mile Diet” and you’re likely to hear stories about food that fills the soul and the unexpected friendships that grow out a search for locally-sourced, fresh foods. This is because buying food “fresh from the farm” does more than just nourish the body. Consumers that know where there food comes from—and, in some cases, even the farmer that grew it—share a sense of connection with the farmer, the earth, and the food that is unparalleled in store bought produce.
Farm Lot 59 wants to strengthen the direct connection between farmer and consumer in Long Beach by building a 1-acre biodynamic, organic mini-farm that will grow healthy, fresh food and teach young people to become farmers.
Sasha Kanno a community farming activist and executive director of Long Beach Local, explains that the name “Farm Lot 59” makes a direct reference to Long Beach’s early agricultural past.
In 1881 the land was plotted to become 20‐acre farm lots. The farm lots were numbered 1 through 185. Because of its topography and role in the City’s municipal water infrastructure, Farm Lot 59 was never developed into a farm or homes and remains owned by the City of Long Beach to this day.
“Long Beach use to be full of agriculture,” said Kanno. “Let’s get back to our roots. Our children should be able to have wonderfully fresh food while growing up in the city.”
Earlier this month, the Parks, Recreation and Marine Commissioners voted to approve and issue a right-of-entry permit to Long Beach Local for the use of 2712 California Avenue to build and operate a one-acre urban farm and mulch yard — the land which will return to its “roots” as Farm Lot 59.
Kanno says that there is a vision laid out for Farm Lot 59, and securing the land was an important step.
As the Farm grows, it require labor to plant, harvest, process and take produce to market. Green jobs such as program director, farm operator, produce stand manager, events coordinator, master composter are envisioned and additional support services such as website hosting and maintenance, newsletter, and bookkeeper will be required.
There are also opportunities for entry‐level jobs and internships. The farming industry has a very large generational gap the average farmer aged 55 or older has grown from 37% to over 60% in the last 60 years. Farm Lot 59 will be a local training ground for youth who want to continue in this trade and be able to make a living wage while doing what they love.
Farm Lot 59 has the potential to become the start of a new chapter in Long Beach’s agricultural history, as a 21st Century Urban Farm. As part of this future, the group is using modern technology to build support online at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sashakanno/farm-lot-59/.
Kickstarter is a platform that helps people crowdsource funding for projects. It’s a simple process that allows organizers to launch a project, set a target date and solicit community support. If enough people commit to financially backing the project, then the project gets funded and the backers recieve prizes. If the target amount isn’t met, the project does not get funded and backers are not responsible for their pledges.
Visit the Farm Lot 59 Project on Kickstarter at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sashakanno/farm-lot-59/ to watch the video, donate and use the social media links to share the project with a friend.
Farm Lot 59 needs to raise $10,000 by August 28 and are already nearly a tenth of the way to their goal. Be sure to check out the “backers” page and see the “thank you gifts” that supporters receive — especially if you’re a fan of fresh, locally-grown vegetables delivered weekly.