May 7, 2019

Open Silo Dispatch

May your May flowers flower.

1. InHouse Produce Happy Hour  |  May 9

While many urban farmers and gardeners grow food under the balmy LA sun, new technologies allow food to be grown indoors, underground, or in space. What a great option for soil-constrained spaces, restaurants, or moonwalkers! If you love ag tech, our friends at InHouse Produce are hosting a happy hour this Thursday at the Soylent Innovation Lab so all of us can geek out together. Andrew Blume, one of the InHouse Produce team, has been a long-time connecter in the urban ag community, always with an eye toward technology, and I'm stoked that he is bringing his chops to an exciting business like InHouse Produce and expanding the scope of urban agriculture in Los Angeles. Hope to see you there!

When: Thursday, May 9  |  5:30-8:00 pm
Where: 555 Mateo St, Los Angeles

2. What's the [Green New] Deal?

Listen, I'm all about new deals, and I'm looking forward to seeing how Mayor Garcetti will implement this one. On April 29, the Mayor's office released their Sustainability pLAn Update, rechristened "LA's Green New Deal" because who doesn't love a catchy phrase? The plan has some discussion and goal-setting around Food Systems, including the goal to (drumroll please) increase urban agriculture sites by 25% by 2025 and 50% by 2035. They site a baseline of 494 sites (from 2013), so that means 124 new sites by 2025 and 247 new site by 2050. Great! They also want to "streamline permitting for gardens on public land" (how about private land too!) and "convert appropriate parkways and open lots to agriculture and gardening." Neat-o!

So now that we have this plan out there, let's help the Mayor achieve this goal. If you are a farmer or gardener and would like to be one of those new agriculture sites, let Mayor Garcetti know! What barriers do you face and how might the city help overcome those barriers so that they can follow through on this milestone? Let's be real, 124 sites is a lofty but doable goal, but I really want this to be more than lip service. Farmers! Gardeners! Let's get to work! Email Elena Guevara, a Sustainability Policy Analyst in the Mayor's office, at at Let her know what you need to help Eric get 124 new sites in six years. 

3. Nature: It Does a Body Good
Sometimes a key to solving health issues is just reminding folks to get back to the basics of being a critter on our planet. Drink water. Eat plants. Move around. And now, get outside! I'm not aiming for a think piece here, but I wanted to share this article (see link below) and normalize this concept of prescribing nature as medicine. For all of us who grow food in the city, we know that, despite the challenges of irrigation and pests and all the things, getting your hands in the dirt and on a row of crops is so satisfying and soothing. The smell of the soil, the heavy lifting and lugging, the taste of ripe fruit and water out of a hose, the pride of a good harvest. I don't know, there's really no replacement for that. DON'T PANIC, I'm not quacking out on you, thinking that a stroll in the garden can cure all disease because, well, it can't. But I think this recalibrating of our perspective of (a) what constitutes a healthy human life and (b) how to address certain health issues without hitting the pill bottle first is a good thing. 

There is also a growing practice of horticulture therapy. Horticulture therapy is still relatively unknown in Los Angeles compared to other regions (*cough*Portland*cough*). Nevertheless, organizations like Seeds of Hope and Growing Hope Gardens are already starting to incorporate horticulture therapy in their garden programing, as well as individual therapists like Ashley Crosswhite of Lone Dog Gardens

If you know of any physicians or insurance companies in our region that are prescribing nature, please share them with Open Silo! Nonchalantly pester your doctor and medical friends about this idea. ALSO if you organization/farm/garden can facilitate nature prescriptions or horticulture therapy, please share that too! 
4. Jobs & Internships

Urban Farmer  |  Farmscape

Urban Farmer  |  Heart Beet Gardening

Veggie Garden/Orchard Installer  |  Heart Beet Gardening

Community Farmer  |  Coastal Roots Farm (Encinitas) 

Farmers’ Market Promoter  |  SEE-LA

Senior Director of Operations  |  Food Forward

Ventura County Branch Program Assistant  |  Food Forward

Farmers Market Recovery Program Assistant  |  Food Forward

HR - Diversity, Inclusion & Community Engagement Assistant  |  Food Forward

Summer Internship 2019  |  Garden School Foundation


OK. OK. What's Next?

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