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You don't need a lot of space to grow your own produce.
- Buck's licking his chops.
- That underbite is just killing me.
- Hi, guys. I'm at the Los Angeles River, the basecamp for Farm LA, which is this amazing nonprofit that builds gardens all over the city in order to repurpose abandoned lots and sidewalks and beautify and grow food in order to give back to the communities. I'm gonna go meet Jay and Emily who are the founders of Farm LA. And apparently this city drops off piles of free mulch up the street, so we're gonna go check that out.
- [Emily] Laura!
- [Jay] Hey!
- Cool pile of mulch. I love it.
- [Emily] Thanks.
- Does the city just drop this off here?
- Oh yeah, they dump this I think twice a week and it's all the shavings and trimmings from all of the parks in Los Angeles.
- Priceless mulch.
- This is awesome because I'm actually looking for mulch right now. I was Googling it a week ago, where to find mulch.
- It's expensive. It's really expensive--
- It's so expensive!
- I think that about do it.
- [Laura] That's enough? That's enough. Enough for our curbside.
- Let's go put this in.
- Yeah. Can I ride back here?
- Yeah you can, go ahead.
- Yeah! Are we here? Ooh!
- All right, here she is. Cool, is this the spot? Yes.
- And this is just city property, right?
- [Jay] Technically.
- All the parkways are owned by the city and they just legalized the ability to grow your own vegetables and herbs, which is amazing for people that live in apartment buildings.
- This neighborhood in particular is considered a food desert. There's no walkable organic affordable market nearby, so this essentially solves the problem.
- So anybody can make their own little garden in a little sidewalk patch.
- All right, so Bermuda grass, onto the beast. So you just grab a piece and you chase it out. It'll go to a root hub, and then you kinda gotta dig into it and you gotta get the tubers out. That's where they come from. And just put 'em on the street or on the sidewalk.
- And we're gonna bring in rosemary and shiso and see how that looks.
- Do you guys do all this yourself? 'Cause it's a lot of work.
- It is a lot of work. No.
- [Jay] No! We do not. We are fortunate enough to have a lovely brigade of volunteers that are compiled of students and just people that love gardening and people that wanna beautify LA.
- Who wants to weed? This is the crew. Look at all the work we did.
- [Emily] Oh my god.
- Looks pretty great, right?
- We're ready to--
- Two second later and it looks like this.
- Movie magic. This is a little mini farm.
- I love it.
- Corn doesn't generally transplant very well. They don't do it too often but it's gonna be OK. One more shovel full of mulch right here. There ya go.
- [Emily] So beautiful.
- [Laura] Oh cool.
- [Emily] She gets a protection.
- She gets a little protection encircled. And the neighbors know not to step on this right now.
- So they're gonna grow into a giant tall cornstalk?
- Yeah, this would be six feet tall in a few months. All right, so next what we're gonna do is just do a little leveling and then sprinkle your mulch over the level spots, all over the place.
- [Laura] Oh!
- Just like that. And that'll top off the top soil level. All right, if you guys wanna do that, I'm gonna go and cut wood for the tepee that we're gonna put Lima beans up on.
- [Laura] Oh cool.
- All right, see ya in a minute.
- Oh wow, that was fast.
- Yeah, Laura, that can go in there. We'll put our rosemary and shiso. Quirky little garden.
- Mm hmm.
- Let's get the tepee up and then we'll go get some Lima beans to plant under it.
- [Emily] Yeah.
- What exactly is a tepee?
- It's a trellising tool for the Lima beans 'cause the Lima beans need to hold hands with something essentially.
- Oh, cool!
- Just smack that a few times. Keep going. All right. And you kinda loop it around each one now so that it's got a good thing to vine. We're gonna go get some Lima bean pods. And this will be a third-generation Lima bean plant.
- [Laura] Cool! Let's go get those pods. OK!
- All right, here's our Lima bean plant that we planted this year around a trellis on the tree. And here are our dried out plantable Lima beans. So if you wanna go ahead. Can just crack 'em.
- [Laura] Oh!
- And that's harvest.
- [Laura] All right, let's go plant some beans.
- [Jay] You can do the honors, go ahead. Just set two down right there. One, two.
- [Laura] It feels so magical.
- [Jay] Uh huh. All right, and just cover 'em up.
- [Laura] Grow!
- [Jay] Grow, grow. I order you to grow! Here ya go. You do the honors. Tap away.
- [Laura] I feel like a homesteader. Cool!
- It's a Farm LA mini garden.
- We did it!
- But now we're gonna keep with tradition and go back to Farm LA Headquarters and make some tequila jalapeno cucumber drinks and Lima bean hummus, just 'cause.
- I'll take all of that.
- Let's do that. Yay. Do do do do da. So now we are at Farm LA Headquarters.
- Yup yup.
- And Emily is making me something amazing over here. This is Ham, in case you haven't met him.
- Just eyeballing everything.
- [Laura] I love this, it's like camping cooking.
- [Emily] Yeah! Put some dill. Get those guys in. Think that's it! Lemon zest from our garden. That should be good.
- So that was like four ingredients. Party!
- OK! I love this party, and the guests. Ooh!
- [Emily] Is it? That is so good! This is great. Is this what your life is like every day? I love Farm LA. So gentle!
- [Emily] Oh, very gentle.
- No, they have to be or they don't get treats.
- [Emily] They get in trouble. You guys are so lucky.
- Well, thank you guys so much for having me.
- [Emily] Thank you. This was so fun.
- This was way fun.
- I want to come to all your volunteer days--
- Yeah, you're our rock-star volunteer. Cheers to that.
- [Laura] Cheers. Ooh!
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