The Community Garden at Holy Nativity
In response to the growing concern about food insecurity within Los Angeles County, Holy Nativity wrestled, in the early months of 2008, with making a radical conversion of heart and property. What if we began to convert our conventional landscaping into edible landscaping? What about a community garden that would send food to the local food pantry?
So with the approval of the Vestry, we dug up some 1,100 square feet of old juniper bushes and green lawn and made plans for a garden, a community garden. With the help of people from churches and mosques and synagogues, community volunteers, and Holy Nativity parishioners, the ground was soon converted to a vegetable garden.
Today serving as both an educational resource for local organic gardening practices and a gathering spot for locals who want to work with the soil, our garden is harvested weekly, and the bounty is delivered to the Food Pantry LAX for distribution to needy members of the wider community.
Over time, the original garden has grown and expanded to include fruit trees of all varieties and a medicinal herb garden, and an additional section of the front lawn has been replaced and provides a beautiful spot for wildflowers that attract beneficial insects along with more growing space for veggies.
The garden is maintained by a mixed team of local neighbors, food activists, social justice activists, and people who just like to garden. The harvest team gathers every Thursday to work in the garden. Winter hours on Thursdays are 3:00 P.M. until 5:00 P.M. Volunteers with gardening experience are welcome, or if you have NO gardening experience at all, you are most welcome. Participating in the Thursday harvest team is a great way to learn hands-on alongside garden veterans plus seed offerings are available with a garden visit.
If you are interested in being involved in the Community Garden, please contact our garden manager Azita Banu. You may text her at 310.666.9278 or email your request to [email protected].
Organic vegetable gardening classes are taught each month at Holy Nativity and usually involve time spent in the garden. These classes are open to the general public. The topics rotate throughout the year and are selected based upon what is seasonally appropriate for our Southern California gardens.
Some of the recent topics are
- Introduction to Organic Vegetable Gardening
- Planning Your Autumn Vegetable Garden
- Attracting the Good Bugs to Your Garden
- Vegetable Crop Rotations
- Water Wisdom for High-Yield Gardens
Our garden classes and gardening information have been so popular that people have asked to have the information “all in one place.” Thus ECM co-founder Joanne Poyourow has begun publishing “Abundant Harvests,” a series of gardening booklets.
Booklet titles include
- The Quest for Higher Yields
- The Secrets of Soil Building
- Water Wisdom for High-Yield Gardens
- Your Community Garden: Tips for Success
These booklets are available at most ECM events and gatherings as well as at ECM’s Etsy page.
Environmental Change-Makers (ECM)
ECM began in 2005 with a circle of five local neighbors sitting with then-Holy Nativity rector, Father Peter Rood in the church's community hall, trying to decide what they could possibly DO about environmental problems like global warming. In those days, before anyone had heard of An Inconvenient Truth, any discussion about global warming was more likely to provoke debate over w…Read More »
Do you have fruit trees in your backyard? Do all of your neighbors have enough oranges and lemons from your trees to make juice for the next six months? And still there is fruit dropping to the ground? If you live in Westchester, here is your answer.
Holy Nativity has an active role in an initiative to gather excess fruit from trees in the Westchester community, helping reside…Read More »
Other Environmental Groups
Transition Los Angeles
Learning about a budding circle of people in England, who were “doing something” about climate change and peak oil, ECM and Holy Nativity brought trainers from the U.K. and hosted Southern California’s first ever “Transition Training.”
Over time, eight local groups have formed with ECM representing Westchester. Each of these groups had its own focus…Read More »
Seeds of Hope
Holy Nativity is part of a coalition, under the direction of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, that is designed to encourage Southern California churches to use their land to grow food.