Monday, May 18, 2009

Gardens, Gardens Everywhere

The "100 Garden Challenge" (Gardens of Gratitude) went down this weekend and was capped off with a potluck and party in the Learning Garden at Venice High School last night. I had a great time sitting in on guitar with The Shoeflies, an acoustic bluegrass/country/folk band from the Venice canals. It was a fitting musical style to end a weekend of digging in the dirt and getting back to the land. Sean Jennings, the event's organizer and "Head Farmer" (my title), said about 200 volunteers helped with over 40 gardens. And there were roughly 100 gardens signed up for the event. So some people signed up in solidarity and worked on their own gardens; and some were helped by a large volunteer pool of folks who helped out where needed. Sean (who looked very sundried and tired Sunday night) drove around over the weekend to about 15 different gardens and helped out.

Last night's event featured a potluck and some good old-fashioned socializing, conversation and music. One highlight was the chance to stroll through the Learning Garden and experience what a true diverse urban garden looks like. There were rows upon rows of all sorts of vegetables, herbs, flowers, grains and fruit trees, including: corn, wheat, apple and peach trees, cabbage, kale, beets, carrots, strawberries, sunflowers, lettuce, brussel sprouts and more.

Standing in the garden at sunset and taking in all that nature while watching a stream of cars hurry by on Venice Blvd was quite an experience. Here I was in this space of incredible peace and beauty and less than 100 feet away was nothing but concrete and steel. I was amazed at the variety, beauty and bounty of this humble little plot of land on the corner of Venice Blvd. and Walgrove. It simply and elegantly proves the beauty and power of nature and how it will provide for us if we work with it and follow some basic principles.

For more info on The Learning Garden, visit their website:

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