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From Cows to Concrete: The Rise and Fall of Farming in Los Angeles

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Forthcoming May 14, 2016

By Rachel Surls and Judith Gerber
Angel City Press
May 2016
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpt:

Q: What inspired you and [co-author] Judi Gerber to write this book?

It was different for both of us. During the time I was the UC Cooperative Extension County Director – this was about 15-20 years ago – I came across some statistics for farming in Los Angeles County that really surprised me. Once – relatively recently – Los Angeles County was a huge agricultural producer, but no one seemed to know this. It was once the largest, most bountiful agricultural county in the U.S. (for four decades, between 1909-1949). It’s now primarily urban and is the most populated county in the nation. So there was this extreme turnabout in only 40-50 years. I was intrigued.

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April 5, 2016   Comments Off on From Cows to Concrete: The Rise and Fall of Farming in Los Angeles

Black farmers in Detroit are growing their own food. But they’re having trouble owning the land.

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A mural on Vernor Hwy. in Detroit, Michigan. The city’s poorest neighborhoods have ready access to fast food, but lack fresh produce and healthy eating options. Credit: Cybelle Codish.

“If we want to increase the quality of life for black people, we need land to do that,” Yakini says. “We have gone backwards — black-owned land has decreased significantly since its peak in 1910.”

By Martina Guzmán
PRI’s The World
March 30, 2016

Excerpt:

Lorenzo Herron is a 26-year-old Detroit native and urban farmer. His degree in agribusiness from Michigan State University brought him back to Detroit in 2012, where he began growing cherries, raspberries, strawberries and mulberries on the city’s east side.

“Growing fruit is the least amount of work,” he says. “You don’t have to baby fruit; most crops need a lot of pampering and are super-needy.”

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April 5, 2016   Comments Off on Black farmers in Detroit are growing their own food. But they’re having trouble owning the land.