Photography: Ye Rin Mok
Ocean View Farms Community Garden is a private nonprofit cooperation operating a six-acre organic garden under an agreement with the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks. In 2011, Ocean View Farms celebrated 30 years of service to the community. The Garden was founded In 1977 by a group of people interested in growing produce on a hillside in West Los Angeles overlooking Santa Monica Bay. The use of public lands for gardening was originally Mayor Tom Bradley's idea. The land where is situated is owned by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and administered by the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks.
OVF quietly developed from a couple of acres, expanding four times to fill the six acres it occupies today. Over 300 gardeners work 500 garden plots. OVF’s members vary in age from 18 to 90, and include a wide range of income levels and speak many languages. Occupations include manual laborers, housewives, managers, professionals, students and retired persons, among others.
It all began as an open field that once grew soy beans. The founders laid the plan, leveled and terraced as needed. They established plots approximately 15 feet by 15 feet separated by pathways. A water system was installed to make water accessible to every plot. Included in the layout was a substantial orchard with fruit trees of numerous varieties which fruits are enjoyed by all members.
From 1995 through 2006, OCean View Farms was honored with the distinction of being a Waste Reduction Awards Program (WRAP) winner for 12 consecutive years. In bestowing this award the California Integrated Waste Management Board, now CalRecycle, recognized OVF for its long-term contribution to waste reduction and resource efficiency. Its voluntary efforts to reduce, reuse, and recycle has been a constant since it all started. Its activities have helped cut California’s trash in half and save both OVF and the City of Los Angeles money.
OVF is the largest of more than 60 community gardens in Los Angeles County and defines itself as a community garden where the term “community” signifies an organization of friends banding together through a common concern about how our food is grown, passionately concerned about our environment, and dedicated to the idea of sharing.
It's still faster than you could draw it