imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

South Central Farm: A community Outreach

by Warren Huntington Post Tuesday, Jun. 20, 2006 at 8:04 AM

An essay regarding the South Central Farm and how it is helping to ease gang and inter-ethnic tensions. Also addresses the farm's ability to allow the community to interact with Chicano and Mexican culure, despite the fact that the farm is not anywhere near Mexico.

The 14-acre plot of land located on 41-st. and Alameda in South Los Angeles is unique in that it is considered to be one of the largest urban gardens in the United States. Over the decade the South Central Farm has been used by the community as a garden, it has been subjected to multiple owners and numerous development plans. Ever since 1994, the community of South Los Angeles has transformed the land into a bottom up production of agriculture in an area predominantly used for industry labor jobs. As a result of planting vegetation that is native to Mexico, the South Central Farm has become a cultural landscape that provides to a hybridized community of African Americans and Latinos, histories and cultural practices that may have been forgotten. In addition, since the land is not imposed by elites, the farm is considered to be an organic landscape because everyday people going about their everyday lives create it.

As you pass through the neighborhoods of South Los Angeles, which is commonly referred to as South Central, one striking feature of the houses are the metal bars affixed to the windows and doors. More of a symbol of the aftermath of the 1965-Watts riot in the community, than of poverty, these bars outline the alienation and disintegration of the dreams of a community that “remained by necessities of … inertia, internal despair, and external disinterest” (Ovnick 306). The 1965-Watts riot catalyzed the movement of Anglos, whom were originally being “pulled outward by the lure of cheap suburban homes and a planned decentralization of industrial jobs” (Fulton 76). They left out of fear, feeling that their lives and property values were in jeopardy and settled in homes that were built far away from the city. In addition, since the 1940s and 1970s, “jobs in the large-scale factories of South Central Los Angeles … have been replaced by nonunionized, lower-paying positions in hundreds of smaller companies” (Phillips 66). This limited the community in terms of economic opportunity and contributed to their feelings of being ignored by the LA City Council. The only things that remained after the Anglo migration and the deindustrialization of work were the remnants of the city’s past. Industry plants that once provided jobs to the community were shut down, but remained standing as if to remind the people of South Los Angeles of their economic situation. Furthermore, from 1988-1992, South Los Angeles received fewer “per person in poverty economic development, job training, and human services funds than the more affluent West LA” (Gottlieb 143). These set of limitations caused the South Los Angeles residents to strike out against the City Council for not doing anything to alleviate dire conditions inside the community. The community was eventually considered a haven for crime activity. Drugs were bought and sold, and internal fighting amongst neighborhoods ensued. In addition, vandalism of property and gang fighting became all too prevalent and further prevented individuals from returning.

In a personal interview with the Newton Division Gang Unit, the 38-st. gang, composed mainly of Latinos, are located in the neighborhood near 41-st. and Alameda. Once in a while, the Pueblo Bishops, a constituent of the Bloods and whose members are African American, enter their territory and a turf battle ensues. The gangs fight and the dangerousness of South Los Angeles is once more strongly affirmed. However, the community is not without activists and leaders who urge an acceptance of both cultures and an end to neighborhood fighting. As if it were a peacemaker of its own, the South Central Farm is situated in-between the 38-st gang and the Pueblo Bishop’s territorial vie for dominance. For the twelve years that it has been used as a community-operated farm, the South Central Farm has been attributed to the decrease in neighborhood violence and has acted as a bridge between Latino and African Americans.

Similar to South Los Angeles’s economic change, the demographic of this part of the city has changed from mostly African American to African American and Latino. A major contributing effect was that “much of the Black population redistributed itself, abandoning the central area and fanning out into suburban communities” (Fradkin 323). New immigrant Latinos chose to settle in the area because of lower income housing availability and unskilled labor jobs. The migration of African Americans from South Los Angeles and Latino growth caused the African American population to decrease and this reversal of dominance has been the cause for strife between the two ethnic groups.

The 14 acres of land on which the South Central Farm is located, has been subject to numerous planned development and construction. Each of the proposed uses of the land share a recognizable characteristic: they all call for the organization of space in order to accumulate private wealth. This is the difference between a top down and bottom up production. In a top down production, political and economic elites use their power to impose a specific idea of how the land should be used in order to achieve wealth. On the other hand, a bottom up production is a natural landscape created by everyday people and the meanings of the land are collectively understood. In the early 1980s, nine private landowners held the 14-acre property located at 41-st and Alameda. Of the nine, the Alameda-Barbara Investment Company, partners Ralph Horowitz and Jacob Libaw, owned approximately 80 percent of the land. However in 1985-86, ownership of the property was acquired by the City of Los Angeles through the law of eminent domain. The city intended to construct on the site a trash incinerator , but “abandoned that plan in the face of public protests organized by Juanita Tate and the Concerned Citizens of South Central Los Angeles” (South Central Farmers). After the mayor Tom Bradley abandoned the project, Ralph Horowitz retained the rights of first refusal if, “within 10 years, the City determined that the parcel formerly owned by the Alameda-Barbara Investment Company was no longer required for public use” (South Central Farmers).

After the 1992 Los Angeles riot, the city set aside the 14-acre property for the community to use as a public garden. This gesture by the LA City Council was meant as a temporary solution to remedy the conditions that caused the riot and was not intended to be in the community’s control for very long. In 1994 , plans for the construction of 316 town homes on the site were proposed, but shortly thereafter cancelled. In the same year, the LA City Council transferred the title of the property to the Harbor Department. The Harbor Department, with assistance from the Los Angeles Regional Foodbank, granted the community legal permission to use the garden as a farm. The farm, as it is today, is divided into 360 plots, for which families can grow and raise their own crops. The farmers grow fruits, vegetables, and herbs and work in a communal setting providing for their families and communities by donating to the LA Regional Foodbank and selling the excesses of unused crops. Additionally, the South Central Farmers arranged themselves as a membership organization, were one must pay dues in order to grow. In 2004, they democratically elected two leaders and established regulations for the farm and the community. They did this out of necessity and fear in order to oppose Ralph Horowitz and the LA City Council from taking away their land.

One of the most striking features of the farm is the abundance of green in a relatively colorless area. The farm’s green only appears to be magnified by the gray industrial and clothing manufacturing buildings surrounding it. Typically, some of the vegetation grown, such as herbs, are not native to South Los Angeles. Some come from Mexico and are viewed by the farmers as important cultural links to their homeland. By planting crops domestic to Mexico, the farmers and their families are bought closer to a culture and country they may never have touched or seen. As a result, planting becomes their way of identifying with their homeland. Additionally, the South Central Farmers have taken action to alleviate poverty by providing food for the homeless.

Before the LA City Council transferred title of the property to the Harbor Department, the land was originally going to be absorbed into the landscape of accumulation and become the site for industrial warehouses. However, it did not become a top down production, as many previously believed it would be. Instead, it became a bottom up production were Mesoamerican, Chicano, Latino, and Mexican meanings are placed on the land and collectively understood by the community. Currently, Ralph Horowitz is waiting for the LA City Council to buy the property from him again and to meet his demands for income tax advantages. As such, an eviction notice was posted on March 1, 2006 by the LA County Sheriffs Department. Whatever the outcome may be, the South Central Farm has been more than just a community garden, it has provided the community with a means of cultural and political actions that have not occurred in the area with such great intensity as it does today.

Work Cited

Fradkin, Philip L. The Seven States of California: A Natural and Human History. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1995.

Fulton, William. The Reluctant Metropolis: The Politics of Urban Growth in Los

Angeles. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997.

Gottlieb, Robert, et al. The Next Los Angeles: The Struggle for a Livable City. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005.

Newton Division Gang Unit. Personal interview. 04 April 2006.

Ovnick, Merry. Los Angeles: The End of the Rainbow. Los Angeles: Balcony Press, 1994.

Phillips, Susan A. Wallbangin’: Graffiti and Gangs in L.A. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1999.

South Central Farmers. 03 October 2005. 02 April 2006>

Report this post as:

Local News


lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Tech workers organize A24 6:24PM

Architect Stephen Francis Jones A24 3:01PM

UN Forum Wrestles with Economic Policies 10 Years After Financial Crisis Islands Call for A24 12:34PM

Xyloglossie attitudinale A23 8:07AM

Shadowgun Legends Hack and Cheats A23 7:24AM

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy