Congratulations Temi, you’re college bound, WOW!

That’s Temi on the left. With the rabbit ears. This was a long Saturday with the first class of CULTIVARS working on a backyard garden for our neighbors over at WECAN,  one of our community partners. 10643166_702502429836997_262648841_n

You’ll see all these kids at the GROW event on May 2nd.

  They all took a field trip up the coast to see McGrath Farms. They talked about dirt, organics and how (and what) Farmer Phil grows!

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Here Temi again, celebrating some organic parkway corn at ANOTHER site, in between cramming for the SAT’s.

10452336_660124207408153_4525100654224092635_n And this is how his garden is growing:

Temi has been admitted to the Freshman Class for UnIversity of Irvine, Davis, and also Pitzer College for Agriculture.

He wrote his personal essay on RootDownLA, here’s an excerpt:

“Many more children than I thought, were interested in growing food. Often times, we had kids come volunteer with the maintenance team. They wanted to know why we did everything we did, from mulching to composting. I, for one, was truly amazed. My heart filled with joy as questions from the little curious children flowed on me. Not many children nowadays want to get involved in such a thing as gardening. These little kids were thrilled to dig in some dirt and plant. It was great to see children who would rather do this than stay inside and watch television. Participating in this program was very rewarding to me because I loved to see the faces of my clients when I walked up to their doorsteps to deliver their homegrown produce to them. I believe that it is a great accomplishment to give back to my community, especially through organic food.”

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Congratulations Temiloluwa Salako, You have inspired all of us.

Next up, Karen and Ana, “Two Moms on a Mission”.

Tickets for sale NOW! Bring your friends and spread the word!

The RootDownLA FUNdraiser May 2nd, 2015

Are you as excited as we are about our Spring Fling? We are still in the planning stages and would love your help. Please fill out the contact form below with your super powers and we’ll get back to you lickity split.  In the meantime save the date and come back here for updates!10866985_762148827205690_233454762_n

 

The Cultivars’ DIY spirit brings more affordable gardens to our neighbors.

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Planting wherever we can!  The newest Cultivars tried building their own boxes, modeled off the MiniFarmBox model – making neighborhood gardens more affordable for our South Los Angeles neighbors!

Give us your food scraps, we’ll give you veggies!

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In our effort to establish monthly “farm stand sales,” we sometimes find ourselves in low-harvest cycles.  This month, to solve that issue, Jonathan Galindez went harvesting in the neighborhood, so that we ended up with locally grown mandarins, oranges, and cilantro from our gardens to share with the neighbors, who collect food scraps for our compost piles.  The cycle continues – we get neighbors’ nutrient rich food scraps, all those nutrients go back in the soil, the food we grow sucks up all those nutrients, and they go back into the bellies of our neighbors!

Graduation, farm stand, families, community

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So we gathered today to celebrate the graduates of our most recent 13-week horticultural & entrepreneurial training.  It was fantastic and fun – the food, the photo booth, the students’ presentations on their work.  What was MOST amazing about the day though?  Simply, the PEOPLE.  RootDown, in the past 7 years has built a community, a family of sorts – folks who have increased their commitment to building healthier food communities in South Los Angeles.  Today we had past students, current students, present and former employees, parents, peers, and next generation babies whose parents now value growing, cooking, and eating fresh food.  Thanks to everyone who made this latest training, and this graduation day possible and memorable.

What do you know about diabetes?

What do you know about diabetes? We want your input! This year RootDown will start to address diabetes more directly. Many of our students’ families are affected by diabetes, and so we want to develop programming to help them make dietary changes the RootDown LA way – keeping it simple, affordable and yes, even FUN to eat more low-glycemic foods (you know, like veggies). Have you dealt with diabetes, taken classes, found helpful online/book/community resources that you would want to share with us? Contact megan AT rootdownla DOT ORG.

Back to School and Into the Garden

                 The Cultivars are an amazing group of students, activists, families and friends. They just completed this amazing garden at Nuevo South. They even saved a peach tree and existing cacti.  

10408889_10205335998385954_4612829573904001050_nThey’ve  been busy over by WE CAN too, and recently completed Michel’s garden too. 

10634238_709376132482960_225718092_n Here’s a big shout out to our project managers, Corinna G and the amazing Camille from “The Nature of Things”. They always keep the crew on task, They’re there to answer questions, lend a hand, encourage and grow the Cultivars to massive action. Not to mention product hook up and installation management. 

10599280_10205335998305952_3291357538481492871_nWe have many more gardens to  install in the next twelve months, in accordance with our USDA grant. Would you like to help?  Jump in!  We can hook you up.  And  as always, any financial assistance is always  appreciated. 

10621540_709366059150634_1570957558_oThe kids have been highly motivated and full of action.  We have another class of Cultivars in session as I write this.  Our goal is  to create roots in the neighborhood and a sense of community that creates demand for fair, fresh and abundant food. It’s working.