In no order of fabulousness, I need to brag a little about the goings on with the exceptionally active team at Rootdown.
1. We successfully completed our Community Food Project, funded by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, which brought seventeen new gardens to South L.A., and a 13-week training program that trains local youth to design, install, and maintain neighborhood garden networks.
2. We grew over 800 pounds of produce, a 434% increase from 2012.
3. And we ate that produce at our fabulous party slash fundraiser at Nuevo South!
4. Nine youth successfully completed our 13-week horticultural/entrepreneurial training program, installing residential gardens and designing our first portable farm stand.
5. We employ our kids! We hired two new youth interns, one for our culinary/nutrition programs and one for our horticultural programs.
6.We partnered with a science teacher to develop a year-long curriculum that brings students into our garden at Jefferson High School. We created hands-on projects that support and sustain our food production, and teaches science too!
7.RootDown partnered with Cal Poly Pomona’s College of Agriculture for a curriculum review as a first step in forging a partnership that will make RDLA’s gardens a learning lab for students in Cal Poly’s new Urban Agriculture program.
8.As part of our efforts to increase earned income to offset our reliance on grant dollars, RDLA youth staff started to put their nascent entrepreneurial skills to use: They’ve already landed two contracts! They’ll be doing healthy food tastings and a garden install, outside of the neighborhood!
9. LA’s famed music hall, The Wiltern, threw us a party where all kinds of people showed up to support what we do. It was an amazing night!
10.LA Artist Andrea Bowers invited us to join her to plant seeds and sample veggies at the Hammer Museum’s annual KAMP event (Kids Art Museum Project).
Thank you for your support Los Angeles, we’ll always love you, and strive to make you a greener, greater, more sustainable neighborhood everyday.