Monday, October 17, 2011

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Last Saturday, in the late afternoon just as the sun reached magic hour, I attended the Pollination Party sponsored by fellow backward beekeepers Chelsea and Rob of Honey Love.

That's me walking through the garden, photo by Ashley Fontenot

The event was held in Venice at the Learning Garden. My first introduction to this inspiring organic, urban oasis was in 2001 via friend and mentor David Crow. At the time my daughter Eve was attending Highland Hall Waldorf School which had its own flourishing, edible garden a staple at most Waldorf Schools with large plots. Taking this idea into the main stream school system in a very urban location within Los Angeles was groundbreaking.

“When neighborhoods are transformed into gardens, numerous social problems are resolved: crime decreases, community and family bonds are strengthened. Gardens are places of beauty and spiritual solace, which bring happiness to those suffering from stress and emotional difficulties. By transforming our cities into living pharmacies and sources of nourishment, the root causes of sickness can be alleviated.” ~David Crow

Looking at the garden ten years from when it began is a glorious testament to what is possible even within the confides of the unified school district. The Learning Garden is located on Venice Blvd. at Walgrove between the 405 Fwy and the Pacific ocean. The power of vision combined with many helping hands is transformational as seen in the virtual tour at The Learning Garden website.

Within this garden honey bees coexist with humans in a 60,000 square foot, totally organic space where no pesticides are used. All the needs of the garden are taken care of by the garden within a closed looped, meaning no soil amendments, fungicides, pesticides, fertilizers, etc. All the garden needs are produced by the garden itself in a self sustaining system. The site is even home SLOLA to the seed library of Los Angeles.

David King in front with the hat and Chelsea McFarland at left.

David King, another fellow backwards beekeeper, is the garden master and can be found there almost everyday. David led us on a comprehensive tour which included treats for the mind, soul, eyes, nose and mouth.

David King is the one with the hat, Chelsea and Rob McFarland are at the end on the right. Photo by Ashley Fontenot.

The Learning Garden
Honey Love
Backward Beekeepers

Most the photos were taken by me with my new Canon Rebel, the others were taken by Ashley Fontenot.

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