This garden is a miracle.
It came to exist, seemingly against all odds, in the first year of the pandemic, and Long Beach Organic is now fundraising to create a ninth garden, while Long Beach Fresh fundraises to create more support city-wide.
In this “Fresh Impact” series, we feature projects that we’ve supported throughout the city. Read on to learn more about Long Beach Organic’s Crown Victory Community Garden, and Long Beach Fresh’s role in creating support for local seeders!
The garden is just over a year old, located off 9th and Redondo. It boosts community health and happiness, and is now fundraising to transition to innovative drought tolerant technology, so that it can be an example used across the region.
How did it come to be during the height of the pandemic, though?
In the seemingly distant past, Long Beach Fresh organized advocates for UAIZ, because most agreed that a 5 year commitment was a good minimum, and committing city staff to identify and outreach to sites was needed to help get the ball rolling. We initially identified the site, and supported LBO’s fundraising and assisted with public communications since it received a lot of opposition when it needed to go to city council.
The owners of the property were eventually motivated by the mission of LBO, and by the City of Long Beach’s Urban Ag Incentive Zone program, to support this use for at least 5 years. For just a year or so, it sat as a vacant lot near 10th and Redondo after a house that sat on it was torn down. The garden also received support from Councilwoman Suzie Price’s office to help with the buildout, and tapped into a generous network of supporters in the community. Did you know that buildout for a new garden costs (at minimum) $20,000?
Today, the garden serves dozens of families with affordable plots, and Long Beach Organic aims to serve the broader community with more free learning opportunities. It’s been boosted by the efforts of local Eagle Scouts as they’ve constructed a very effective compost system, and CSULB interns who’ve helped lay critical pathways and infrastructure. LBO has a network of nearly 200 households gardening, and currently have wait lists at all of their 8 sites. They seek to reach the broader community with education and seedling sharing, while pioneering innovative water-saving technologies, and adding more much needed plots.
All this is to say – the garden is a miraculous result of commitment, hard work, and collaboration city-wide.
Help Long Beach Fresh continue our critical support to accelerate the local food system in September during Long Beach Gives, and be sure to follow Long Beach Organic‘s campaign and support them as well.
Early giving begins on September 17th and the day of giving is on September 23rd!
Stay tuned as we’ll be highlighting another food and farm project we’ve supported in West Long Beach!