Los Angeles Digs In with City Farming

A Los Angeles-based farming company aims to bring fresh, locally grown food to communities all around the city and transform their work into a political statement to shine a spotlight on sustainable practices.

The urban farming company Farmscape is the next revolutionary in the local food movement, aiming to bring agriculture to the city. "One of the things that people don't talk about when they talk about the food system is who is working," states Rachel Bailin, the marketing manager for Farmscape. In an attempt to get their own hands dirty, the young company has begun digging in on sites all over Los Angeles with a dedicated team of workers. "The less-than-four-year-old company has 12 full-time employees-including seven farmers who receive a living wage plus healthcare-and is looking to keep growing," writes Zak Stone. "So far they've installed more than 300 urban farms throughout the L.A. area and maintain 150 of them weekly."

The company runs itself as a business, serving various private clients, but their work has become more of a profitable community service. "'When we first started, we expected that our clients would be of a higher income level and would be two-parent working families,' says Bailin. Instead, Farmscape has been delighted to build gardens for preschool teachers, single mothers, and institutions and businesses that want employee gardens as perks."

Using local farming as their platform, the Farmscape company has chosen to take on a political presence by running for office for the 2013 mayoral election. "Bailin says it's an ironic way of questioning the bounds of "corporate personhood," extended to a corporation's right to free speech by the Supreme Court's ruling on Citizens United in 2010." Ironic or not, the company is serious about its mission to make farming an accessible and beneficial food option for urbanites. Bureaucracy and red tape, Bailin believes, are unnecessary obstacles to spreading her company's mission. Asks Bailin, "If corporations are already deciding our politics by giving a bunch of money and lobbying, why not see if we can take out the middleman that would be the politician and make corporations the politician?"

Full Story: Farmscape Brings Urban Agriculture to Los Angeles

Comments

Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

New! 4th Edition of the Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs just released.
Starting at $24.95

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Woman wearing city map tote bag

City Shoulder Totes - New Cities Added!

Durable CityFabric© shoulder tote bags available from 7 different cities.
$22.00
Book cover of Unsprawl

Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places

Explore visionary, controversial and ultimately successful strategies for building people-centered places.
Starting at $12.95