Editor's Note: Mar Vista Patch ran this article on June 28, but now that the deadline of August 1 is looming, we're making a last minute push to get everyone in the community to vote for OVF. As of July 24, OVF was in 4th place and on track to win a grant, but we need the community to keep voting every day to make sure this happens.
DeLoach Vineyards and Organic Gardening Magazine are asking community gardens across the country to put their best foot forward, and the reward is cold hard cash. Five gardens will be selected to receive a $4,000 cash prize.
organic community garden is one of the 15 finalists up for the prize, but to make the top five and take home the money, depends on how many online votes it receives from the public.
You may not even notice OVF as you drive by the intersection of Rose and Centinela every day, but there’s a thriving community of 500 garden plots just behind the trees. The garden’s 6.5 acres came into existence in 1977 and have grown to support over 700 Angelinos with a place to grow some of their own food.
Sound enticing? The bargain price of $36 per year makes it the best deal in town, but the waiting list of over 600 people proves that this deal is worth the wait.
OVF reaches beyond its gates to support the Mar Vista community with regular garden lectures, garden tours for local elementary school children, amazing plant sales (Tomato-bration brings enthusiasts from all over Los Angeles to buy seedlings from Windrose Farms), and a composting program that takes literally tons of stable waste off the city’s hands each year and turns it into nutrient-rich compost. OVF wants to do more, and the DeLoach grant would help them do it.
Melody Girard, the Education Chair of OVF, puts together several events each year at the garden. She feels strongly that the grant money from DeLoach could help the garden serve the community even further.
“Ocean View Farms already has an incredibly rich environment that could be integrated into children's education," she told Patch. "With teachers' involvement and an upgrade of our facilities to include a greenhouse, kid-sized tools and handicap access, OVF can further develop its potential as a garden and as an environmental education site for local schools and community groups.”
They say it takes a village to raise a child, and with your help and the help of Ocean View Farms organic community garden, many children will know where their food comes from.
Currently, the garden features a Monarch butterfly waystation in the children’s garden and a native garden that has been cultivated from generous plant donations. Kids learn about beneficial flowers and insects, red wiggler worms and native plants. They also learn that potatoes grow underground (and so do peanuts), and that artichokes turn into beautiful purple flowers if you don’t harvest them early.
OVF gardeners appreciate their patch of land as much as the kids do, and they are bound and determined to win this grant. OVF webmaster Frank Harris, and garden member Renu Bora came up with a plan that allows members to opt in to receive a daily reminder email to vote. The OVF website even has an easy to click “VOTE FOR OVF” link at the top of the home page.
Even with this concerted effort, OVF is falling behind in the race. What can you do to help? Click here to shout out for Mar Vista and vote every day until August 1.