CA's First Experiment in Edible Landscaping Blossoms in L.A.

Angel Jennings reports on the opening of renovated Del Aire Park in unincorporated Los Angeles County, home to the state's first public orchard.
January 7, 2013, 2pm PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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This past weekend saw the unveiling of a unique experiment in edible art near the juncture of the 105 and 405 freeways in Los Angeles County. At the newly renovated Del Aire Park, California's first public orhard - 27 fruit trees and eight grapevines - officially opened to the public. In a state known for its agriculutral bounty, and a region once known for its abundant orange trees, the orchard seems like a natural fit.

According to Jennings, "[t]he county paid $4 million for the improvements — and used a little creative financing. The fruit trees were paid for from funds designated for civic art. The purpose was to blend food and aesthetics into 'edible art,' County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said."

With the goal of creating "an 'edible landscape' that will give the residents ownership and a stake in their park," a group of artists known as Fallen Fruit, helped design the orchard.

"Art can be something more than something tangible," said David Burns, one of the artists. "It can actually be an idea. They really understood and embraced the fact that this art project was about the idea of share. This is about creating something that is abundant that has no ownership."

"Community gardens and farmers markets are truly the town centers of our communities," Ridley-Thomas told the crowd of about 200 at the event. "These are the places where people gather and get to know each other."

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Published on Sunday, January 6, 2013 in Los Angeles Times
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