A Farm Grows in LA: Urban Farming with Avenue 33

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EcoJustice Radio’s Carry Kim interviews regenerative farmers Eric Tomassini and Ali Greer, who launched a 1.2 acre urban farming endeavor just outside of Downtown Los Angeles in 2018.

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Avenue 33 Farm, EcoJustice Radio

Eric Tomassini and Ali Greer from the Avenue 33 Farm outside of Downtown Los Angeles.

Regenerative Urban Farming in Los Angeles

The urgency of our times is leading a “back to the land” consciousness shift inspired by Indigenous worldviews where urban people once again grow their own food and reconnect to the natural cycles of sun, water and soil. Regenerative agriculture refers to a type of farming that employs a culture of reciprocity, respect, and interrelations with all beings, going beyond organic to actively regenerate the ecosystem while supporting healthy, thriving communities.

Listen to Eric Tomassini and Ali Greer share their insights, successes and challenges farming an urban hillside in arid Southern California. Learn how regenerative farming restores the hydrologic cycle, promotes biodiversity, sequesters carbon, mitigates climate change, and accelerates the return of health and biology to the soil.

STORY: Empowering Community Through Urban Farming – EcoJustice Radio

Avenue 33 Farm is a 1.2 acre hillside urban farm in Lincoln Heights, just outside of Downtown Los Angeles. They focus on selling nutritious produce and flowers, establishing healthy soil, and empowering others to grow food.

More Info:
LA Times – https://www.latimes.com/lifestyle/story/2019-10-10/avenue33-urban-farm-grows-in-los-angeles

Sierra Club – https://angeles.sierraclub.org/news/blog/2020/10/soil_to_table_introducing_avenue_33_farm

Ave 33 Farm on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ave33farm/

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Books:

Anything by Elliot Coleman – not necessarily “regenerative” but was a big influence on us as we got into farming

No-Till Intensive Vegetable Culture – Bryan O’Hara – gets into the details of how they approach no-till farming on a commercial scale

Compact Farms – Josh Volk – a great book that has details on different small farms and their operations for people interested in learning more about how different farmers are approaching small farms

The Lean Farm – Ben Hartman – A good book if you are seriously looking to start a small farm or are farming on a small scale.  Not any fluff mostly just details on how to make your operation more efficient and operating procedures.

The “Teaming with…” series by Jeff Lowenfels – more science than practical guide to farming but a great resource for better understanding what is happening in the soil and how different practices and amendments affect plant and soil health.

Soul Fire Farm has a great book Farming While Black 

Sylvanaqua Farms has a lot of great articles and info on their website.

Soul Fire Farm and Sylvanaqua Farms we highly recommend checking out.  I think the books listed above are a specific lens, mostly science and farm operations focused, very nuts and bolts.  Soul Fire Farm and Sylvanaqua Farms provide great resources on farming while also giving a deeper context for those practices.

Podcasts:

No-Till Growers  – pretty approachable interviews with farmers

Regenerative Agriculture Podcast – pretty dense interviews with scientists

Podcast Website: http://ecojusticeradio.org/
Podcast Blog: https://www.wilderutopia.com/category/ecojustice-radio/
Support the Podcast: https://socal350.org/contribute-to-socal-350-climate-action/

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Irban Farming in LA - Avenue 33 Farm

Interview by Carry Kim
Intro by Jessica Aldridge
Engineer: Blake Lampkin
Executive Producer: Jack Eidt
Show Created by Mark and JP Morris
Music: Javier Kadry
Episode 85
Photo courtesy Avenue 33 Farm

Updated 1 March 2021

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About Jack Eidt

Novelist, urban theorist and designer, and environmental journalist, Jack Eidt careens down human-nature's all consuming one-way highway to its inevitable conclusion -- Wilder Utopia. He co-founded Wild Heritage Partners, based out of Los Angeles, California. He can be reached at jack (dot) eidt (at) wilderutopia (dot) com. Follow him on Twitter @WilderUtopia and @JackEidt