March 8, 2019

Open Silo Dispatch

Like the spring rains, long awaited and over-abundant. 

1. Open Silo Happy Hour  |  April 4

Next month we are hosting the Open Silo Happy Hour at The Congregation Ale House in Pasadena on Thursday, April 4th! We will be co-hosting with the Garden School Foundation, and organization who run educational garden programs in schools from Altadena to Compton to Mar Vista. Folks from GSF will be at the happy hour to share more about their work. 

No matter what your field of work, study, or interest, we want to meet you! All who are passionate about urban agriculture or food issues are welcome. Bring a friend or colleague along. Dress is casual. Come anytime after 6 pm!

About Garden School Foundation

The Garden School Foundation provides garden-based education to youth at Title I schools in Los Angeles, strengthening connections between food justice, environmental awareness, and community health. By using school gardens as transformative teaching sites, they nurture a healthy and mindful generation of children that care for their bodies, their communities, and the earth. Their unique Seed to Table curriculum of gardening and nutritional cooking classes was developed at their flagship site, 24th Street Elementary School in South LA. The Foundation currently serves seven elementary schools and 3,000 students throughout LA County.  

If you can't make it the Happy Hour to meet the Garden School Foundation folks but want to learn more or volunteer, check out their website for more info and opportunities. 

2. Tomatomania!
We all know that tomato quality is on a spectrum from wet cardboard to orbs of glory. Mass production tends to focus on your Beefsteak and cherry varieties, durable but lacking in verve. Humans are not content with this mediocrity. Nothing gets a gardener going like discovering new types of heirloom tomatoes varieties, and I can't blame them. Those purple, yellow, and orange-red hues are some of the most beautiful fruits we can grow on a vine. This weekend is Tomatomania! in Los Angeles, hosted by Fig Earth Supply in Highland Park. I will leave it to you to go down the rabbit hole of understanding exactly what Tomatomania! is, but in a nutshell it's a series of sale events that give gardeners around California access to hundreds of heirloom seedlings. Lil' tomato plans will be available during all shop hours (Sat 9:30-6 pm and Sun 9:30-5 pm), but they are also serving bloody marys, micheladas, and tomato juice between 10 am and 2 pm.
3. Don't Waste Your Pizza!

Help LA Compost raise funds by ordering the #WastedAF pie at Mohawk Bend Bend in Echo Park. They will donate $4 of every pizza sold in the month of March to support the great work of our friends at LA Compost.

What's the pizza you ask? It features cauliflower parmesan, white sauce, salumi ragu and a drizzle of hot honey. Wow. The pizza was created with reducing food waste in mind using cauliflower stalks and cheese rinds. It tastes so good you'll be wondering why those ingredients are ever wasted!

While the #WastedAF pizza is not vegan, most of Mohawk Bend's menu is! Take your team, friends, family, or a hot date because there's something for everyone to enjoy.

Next Level: Join LA Compost to share drinks and pies together for an LA Compost Happy Hour on March 25th, 4:30pm at Mohawk Bend. Cheers!!

4. New Farmers  
One thing I wanted when I was a student researcher was some way to see what urban ag organizations, farms, and projects existed in LA. That was the main drive behind creating Open Silo, a website where this information could be accessible to others. The Open Silo Directory is that work in progress. This month I added two farms. One is a new farm: Avenue 33 Farm in Lincoln Heights, and the other works with new farmers: Alma Backyard Farms in Compton, East LA, and South LA. Check out more urban farms, non-profit orgs, and other community resources at 
5. The New Farmer's Almanac  
I follow Greenhorns, which is a sort of genius organization to support small, sustainability-minded farmers on the east coast. They recently released their New Farmer's Almanac Vol. IV:

In this fourth volume, dedicated to the Greater ‘We’, ninety contributing writers and artists explore the social, techno, and ecological processes of diversification. The New Farmer’s Almanac, Vol IV features essays and stories and poems from farmers, ranchers, ecologists, educators, food bank managers, grocers, gardeners, researchers, and advocates bound by their care for the land, the food system, and the survival of the natural world.

You can buy it directly from the Greenhorns website, at a discount from Chelsea Green Publishing (a great resource for other farming/sustainability books!), or elsewhere on the web. The creamy paperback cover is beautiful and it's currently on my own coffee table. There is a good amount of left-brain technical work when it comes to growing food out of the ground, but it is also a right-brain exercise in cultivating relationships, connecting to human culture, and embracing mystery. So for me it's a real treat when farmers write, paint, sing or otherwise express themselves in art. I'm grateful that Greenhorns put this together this collaborative work. 
6. Upcoming Events

Saturday-Sunday, March 9-10 Thursday, March 14 Saturday, March 16 Tuesday, March 26
  • "Becoming a Certified Producer: A Training for Angeleno Urban Farmers"  |  LA Food Policy Council Urban Ag Working Group Training
Wednesday, March 27
7. Jobs & Internships

Farmers’ Market Promoter  |  SEE-LA

Weekend Field Support/Driver  |  Food Forward

Senior Director of Operations  |  Food Forward

Events & Partnerships Manager  |  Food Forward

Development Administrative Assistant  |  Food Forward

City Seedlings Summer Intern 2019  |  Garden School Foundation

Garden School Foundation is currently accepting applications for our Summer 2019 Internship. GSF’s Summer Internship is a unique fusion of gardening and teaching. Summer interns work in the garden and serve as Camp Counselors at our 2 week long City Seedlings Summer Camp. As a camp counselor at our City Seedlings Summer Camp, you will manage a small group of campers and help lead a variety of fun camp activities, including cooking classes, science experiments, and garden explorations. After summer camp ends,  you will work closely with our Garden Manager to learn how to maintain an urban, organic garden; complete garden projects that enhance learning opportunities; and assist with the care of our beautiful and functional garden classrooms, greenhouse and themed garden spaces.  Internships begin June 13th, 2019 and end in early August (end date is flexible). Internships are unpaid; however, we are happy to arrange academic credit. For more information about interning with Garden School Foundation, please email Elizabeth Hall at

As a City Seedlings Summer 2019 Intern, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Learn about organic gardening in an urban setting which includes: fruit tree care, integrated pest management practices, seed starting, plant propagation, crop rotation and of course, various composting techniques.
  • Discover and play with various gardening philosophies ranging from biodynamic practices to lasagna garden building.
  • Gain experience on how a solar-powered greenhouse is operated.
  • Have hands-on, practical experience in soil building for healthy crops.
  • Meet and work with leaders in the Southern California urban agriculture and the garden-based education movement.
  • Design and complete a project of your choosing whether that’s running an after-school art club or planting in a freshly built hugelkulture.  
  • Work closely with a diverse group of adults and children in an outdoor, garden setting
Location: 24th Street Elementary School (2055 W 24th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90018)
Schedule: Interns will work Monday to Friday from 8am to 3 pm during our 2 week summer camp from June 17-21 and June 24-28, 2019. In July interns work 1-2 days in the garden from 8am to 3pm.


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