A Think Tank for an Urban Garden

With new fast food restaurants temporarily banned in South L.A. and few new sources of food coming into the area, one local architecture professor set his students loose to work on ideas for a small urban farm.

"[Professor Michael Pinto] and 13 SCI-Arc students organized what he called a "think tank" around the issue last year, collaborating with Watts residents to consider Mudtown Farms, a 2.5-acre spot adjacent to the Jordan Downs housing project just blocks from Watts Towers.

The students talked with neighbors and visited the site, which takes its name from an old moniker for the neighborhood. Each student came up with 100 ideas for making the land a center of community life - gardens for seniors or children, a seed library, a commercial kitchen, community cooking programs, a pet cemetery, a community stage and programs for fitness and beekeeping. Some of them might become reality, and plenty of their ideas will be left on the drawing board."

The site of the farm is actually where a building was burned down during the 1965 Watts riots, and locals have been using it as a farm ever since. The students' project aims to help expand that operation.

Full Story: Watts' community garden


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