Come down to the farm!!!!
(Scroll down for photos)
On Sunday I made it down to the South Central Farm, along with (with the help of) Andy (Griggs) and my son Leon. We wanted to give our support, and I wanted my son to see this amazing place before it’s too late. We keep a small garden and try to get most of our vegetables from our own labor. It isn’t easy; between my disability and Leon’s teenager agenda, which often does not include weeding and mulching. I am trying to impart to him the importance of sustainability, alternatives to consumerism and the deep understanding of the subversive resistance of ordinary seeds.
For those who haven’t visited the farm, your presence there is greatly needed to stave off the impending eviction, which could happen any day now, but would require a brutal act by the sheriff’s department against a broad cross section of the Los Angeles community; children, undocumented immigrants, students, activists, lawyers, movie stars (well, one when I was there,) environmentalists, writers, greens, mechistas and the farmers themselves. Conspicuously missing were the politicians who supposedly represent and historically hale from the community.
The farm is situated in the middle of an industrial belt of warehouses and blight; a lifeboat of green in a sea of grey. It takes up two entire city blocks and consists of a matrix of 350 rectangular family plots, each with its own fence and gate, within a grid of walkways. One could walk for hours through what feels like a maze of (well) maize. In addition to the maize (corn) are rows of cabbage, the end of the winter gardens, chard, the beginning of summer vegetables; tomatoes, zucchini, pumpkin, chayote, strawberries, raspberries, chiles, peas and beans and perennials, including fruit trees, nopales, sugar cane, avocados. A few of the farm plots were overgrown with bolting cabbages and lettuce, the end of winter among the weeds. But most of the farms were still vibrant with new growth; seeds in defiance of bulldozers. The farm is bisected by a road down the center. And to the right, as one enters, is a small clearing underneath a three story walnut tree that currently houses three tree sitters. Underneath the tree are a ring of candles and several tents, as a significant community has taken up camp on the farm to stand down the impending eviction.
When we were there, Julia Butterfly Hill was tree sitting with Darryl Hannah and John Quigley. I also ran into ISM activist, Garrick Ruiz (from olive groves in Palestine, to corn fields in South Central.) Philip Koebel was there, as was Anna Kunkin of Global Voices for Justice, Sarah Nolan, Dele, and many others. We arrived in time for the farmers market, but had to leave before the evening program that included music, dance etc. all of which was set up along the road that divides the market.
In the road, a large tarp was erected, under which many people, including children and a group of mechistas from as far away as Las Vegas and Santa Fe, were engaged in banner painting.
This would be an important victory for immigrant and indigenous rights, sustainable agriculture, the L.A. left, future green space and models of city management.
There’s a vigil every night at 7 pm and people are also needed around the clock. So, head down to the farm. It’s located at: 41st and Alameda in the heart of Los Angeles’ industrial and warehouse blight. And if you are among the privileged few that can make a donation towards the purchase of the farm, it’s tax deductible. It seems a crime that in a city that produces movies that make hundreds of millions of dollars, that pay movie stars millions of dollars to star in the films, that someone can’t just WRITE THE CHECK!!!
Such a contrast; those of us scraping by while defending human rights and those who bring in millions every year on one or two movies. It would seem to me that someone might decide to live off of the income (for the rest of their lives) from just one film and donate the rest to human need and social justice. Must be a difference in priorities. It is beyond my ability to comprehend what anyone would do with that much money that would have a greater legacy than human rights.
For more information about the farm, including the history of how the farm came into being and the back room deal that has threatened this environmental treasure and how you can make a donation:_http://www.southcentralfarmers.com/
The photos below are copyright. Permission must be acquired before publishing the photos to other sites and publications.
Today I offer photos of the farm plots.
Wednesday I will publish photos of the banners and art that is being created at the farm.
And Thursday I will publish photos of the encampment, tree sitters, farmers and activists who have gathered at the farm.
Peace with justice, and for a world free from GMO’s, corporate greed and back room deals.
Emma Rosenthal_Café Intifada
Plants in Pots ©2006 Emma Rosenthal All Rights Reserved
The Bisecting Road with Musicians and Stage in Background_©2006 Emma Rosenthal All Rights Reserved
Nopales and a Ladder_©2006 Emma Rosenthal All Rights Reserved
A Walk in the Garden ©2006 Emma Rosenthal All Rights Reserved
Farmers in their Family Plot with Industrial Warehouses in the Background_©2006 Emma Rosenthal All Rights Reserved
Several Family Plots With Warehouses in the Background_©2006 Emma Rosenthal All Rights Reserved
Cabbage, Corn and Other Crops _©2006 Emma Rosenthal All Rights Reserved
Against the L.A. Skyline ©2006 Emma Rosenthal All Rights Reserved