If you'd like to learn more about locally grown, organically raised produce, the University of California/Cooperative Extension Los Angeles County Master Gardener program will empower you to grow your own via the Grow LA Victory Gardens Initiative, said Yvonne Savio, Common Ground Garden program manager.
Now in its fourth year, the series offers 23 four-week, low-cost classes in Spring and Fall Gardening Basics throughout Los Angeles County.
Westside students have three unique class settings to choose from, including the newly established Emerson Avenue Community Garden in Westchester.
Beginning Sept. 7, Mar Vista/Venice Master Gardeners Julie Strnad and Marlena Ross will offer their home garden and orchard for lessons in soils, seed starting, transplanting, composting basics, pest management, container gardening, companion planting, harvesting and more.
Mar Vista residents are acquainted with these two regulars who answer their gardening questions at the Mar Vista Farmers Market, where the master gardeners take over the MVCC Green Tent on the fourth Sunday of each month, giving away seeds and seedlings, said Sarah Spitz, KCRW producer/publicity director and "Culture Watch" columnist.
Strnad’s well-established backyard garden features raised beds and in-ground growing, with a bounty of produce and fruit. Ross, who manages two home orchards, was recently featured in “Edible Westside” with her collections of tropical, exotic trees and fruits.
Mar Vista classes are on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sept. 7, 14, 21 (2 to 5 p.m.) and 28. Class addresses will be provided upon paid registration. Classes can be taken as a series ($55) or individually ($15/per class). Contact http://email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org or call (310) 398-3494.
Beginning Sept. 8, the much beloved Learning Garden on the grounds of Venice High School will serve as the class setting. Aspiring growers will be inspired by the Chinese medicine garden and the numerous individual garden plots tended by members of UCLA’s Horticultural Program and Venice High School students, said Spitz.
Gardenmaster David King, who is also founder of SLOLA: The Seed Library of Los Angeles based at The Learning Garden, will offer a lifetime of farm and gardening experience along with in-depth perspectives on the importance of seed independence.
Venice classes take place at The Learning Garden on Sundays from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., Sept. 8, 15, 22 and 29. To register, call (310) 397-5723 or email http://email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org. The cost is $75 for the series or $20 per class.
To learn more about urban agriculture in Los Angeles, read Cultivate L.A.
UC Cooperative Extension’s “Grow LA Victory Garden Initiative” aims to help new gardeners start their own gardens quickly and easily in a container, a backyard or at a community garden, bringing together local families and neighbors to share their experiences, skills and produce.
“Everyone who is interested in growing some of their own food can help their families eat better—and have fun doing it,” says Common Ground Garden program manager Savio. “Sharing your experiences and extra produce is a great way to connect with your neighbors.”
Sarah Spitz contributed to this post.