New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
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How a gardening novice tackled urban farming in Los Angeles

A miniature farm in West L.A. Steven Wynbrandt in his garden, which just three years ago was a barren yard with problematic soil. Photo by Anne Cusack.

“There is a Hebrew phrase, Tikkun olam,” he says. “It means ‘Heal the world.’ That’s what I’m trying to do.”

By Lisa Boone
LA Times
December 7, 2012


Wynbrandt eventually grew more food than he ever thought possible. On 3,000 square feet, more than 20 crops spill out of 13 beds, each 15 feet long. Walk the aisles now and you will find cabbages, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, leeks, collard greens, onions, carrots, asparagus, even quinoa. Over the summer, he grew more than 200 pounds of Brandywine tomatoes along with heirloom and Sun Gold cherry tomatoes. Around the perimeter of the garden, he planted 16 fruit trees — navel orange, pomegranate, avocado, peach, dragonfruit and fig among them — to create a sound barrier from the traffic on nearby Overland Avenue.

“He is unusual,” says McAndrew, 77. “He’s a very special human being. He has great enthusiasm to learn. I brought a load of manure over to his house and taught him how to make biodynamic compost. Now he’s made 15 tons. In the last six months he has accomplished what it took me 10 years to learn.”

Last month Wynbrandt prepared a Thanksgiving salad of baby greens, Swiss and golden chard, arugula, red winter kale, Bull’s Blood beets and romaine lettuce — all from his garden.

Complete story here.