Thursday, June 28, 2018

San Pedro Community Gardens

Off the 110 in San Pedro, along one of the many slopes that are left to grow wild in San Pedro and the Peninsula -- which is riddled with little canyons, crevices, and hills -- gardens bloom with fruit from all over the world. Filipinos started gardening here over fifty years ago, and the plots grew to cover six acres. Retirees and urban farmers from many cultures grow tropical fruits, bean trees, vegetables, potted vines of tomatoes, and more.

The picture at right is from a 2011 post on LA Eastside.

The problem that confronts this maze-like collection of gardens and makes it newsworthy? Water is becoming scarce, and so some of the gardens have been abandoned. But not many.

The gardens have a website:, and it has a laser focus: the status of water. There I learned that few years ago a pipe broke, with devastating consequences. Now, the issue is that the landlords are just cutting off the water for most of the day.

Over a month ago, the Los Angeles Times ran a story about the San Pedro Community Gardens, and they have a video posted on their site as well. So you can see, in their own plots, Frank Mitrano, Carol Christian, and David Vigueras, who says: "It's not a garden. This is a universe."

At left is one of the photos that accompanied the Times article, which was packed with information.

The land belongs to Los Angeles City's Dept. of Sanitation, according to the Times. During the drought, they cut down on the water when they realized that hundreds of thousands of gallons a day was being poured into the gardens.

No bad guys here: there was a drought. There is still reason to conserve water. It's driven some of the gardeners out, but others are making do. The water flows only during select hours of the day, and pipes are old. Gardeners are doing what they can to collect the water their plants and trees need.

At right is a year-old picture from the Garden's website, showing the results of no water on some of the plots.

I applaud these gardeners and think we should have more of them. I will shorten my showers for them. I have no talent for gardening and am amazed at what men and women do to grow and nurture plants from the dirt.

If you'd like to know more about community gardens in our area, there's not only a website for the Los Angeles Community Garden Council, but Yelp has a list (of course) of the top community gardens, and CurbedLA has a 2014 list of the best.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Mosaic Monday Goes South

I've been vacationing, and drove south. While I was not on a quest to find mosaics, I could not help spotting them. So here is work of art I stumbled across.

The picture was taken at a garden shop in the touristy area of San Clemente. Of course. Because if you say "San Clemente" there are only two reactions possible: Baby Boomers will remember the Western White House of Richard Nixon (which is for sale, btw) (for $63 million, since you know you wanted to ask) or they'll know the town as a major surfing destination.

The sign at the base says "Sustainable Functional Art" This shower is just one example of their work, so if you're interested, go to the website.

At the WillandJane site, you'll see a charming picture of some children enjoying a working shower/mosaic/surfboard like this. Their Gallery page shows other designs, using recycled surfboards, starfish and shells, and glass mosaic pieces.