Ten years ago, as part of getting all of us at RootDown more closely connected to farm-grown food, we'd take school busses up from South Los Angeles to visit McGrath Family Farms in Ventura County. Today, thanks to a NIFA Community Food Project grant that funded our horticultural training program that trains youth to design, install, and maintain food gardens, we now grow almost 1,000 pounds of produce a year in a garden network we've built right where our young program participants live. This winter we will also build our first micro-farm at our headquarters at the Big House.
Fortunately in LA we can grow year-round, and winter finds us with lots of GREENS! As the year rolls to an end, we can sit back and reflect on how hard we worked to systematize our food production this year, that we got our gardens certified to sell at farmers markets, and that we now sell produce weekly to Cruzita's, a South LA cafe that features RootDown LA produce in their daily menu items. Not to mention, we continue to build demand for healthy food through our LAPD cooking classes for kids, and via our Kaiser funded diabetes support program at St. John's Well Child and Family Center.
Our recent election caused a massive wave of uncertainty on so many levels, but RootDown LA will persist. We are 100% confident that our youth and healthy food systems will thrive, no matter the political climate.