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Zandie Brockett


Turning an asphalt filled lot into a community garden with 150 California native plants

Zandie Brockett

Yesterday, I went to a new community garden with two high school friends and one of their mothers. It was actually my friend's mom who brought us there, as she is an avid horticulturalist and wanted to spend her 61st birthday gardening. It was an incredible day because what I realized is that we were not just gardening. We were regenerating the soil, while also regenerating the community. The garden is in a primarily Hispanic neighborhood of LA called El Sereno. A barren lot just three months ago, members of The Regenerative Collective gather weekly to transform this lot into a public garden open to the neighbors. Their mission to reintegrate art, inquiry, and nature into projects that serve poverty-stricken communities and the environment have evolved this plot of land into one that is shared by the community, rather than owned by gentrifying developers who are creeping into the neighborhood. In the three months, they've already turned this once asphalt filled lot into a space filled with 150+ California native plants. It was a fascinating and lovely pre-Christmas afternoon with friends, as I learned about soil regeneration, planted sage plants, and spoke to local LA public school teachers who are going on strike at the beginning of 2019. It was also a great opportunity to also represent TOY in the community. Many people asked about my hat and I was able to share a little about the organization's mission. They were impressed that it had such global reach and were very happy to have me there.

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