Getting to Know Our Community

Project Youth Green provides 60+ farmers with plots for a small fee that creates a sense of community in the city of Pacoima.

Last weekend Jackie and I (from the Arleta SoS program) had the opportunity to meet a couple of folks who have planted some veggies on the land supported by Project Youth Green. PYG is a part of the Youth Speak Collective organization. Youth Speak Collective has many branches that engage the youth on productive projects. These projects are long-term in scope and involve the community along the way.

We took a look at the gardening branch of PYG which allows for members of the community to rent a plot for the year with a small fee of ten dollars a month. Located on a hillside, this garden space gives us a sense of serenity. The streets below hold bustling cars and the fast pace of a busy city. In the garden we see bees pollinating, families enjoying nature together, lots of good energy emanates from the people around us and the plants that welcome us to this lovely place. A fruit tree orchard is found on one of the hills. Seeing the avocado trees makes me crave some yummy homemade guacamole. Now I see what the modest fee is for. This cost covers the plants most essential element for nourishment, water. This allows for residents who live in a place where there is little to no space for gardening the opportunity to grow something of their liking on a piece of land. Farmers can either consume the food they grow or trade with the 60+ farmers growing food there.


Its not the first time I see something amazing like this happening in our own Valley. It is people that keep that motivation high for the rest who want to contribute to the solution. I’m glad that I had the chance to spend time with my team member and absorb the beauty that keeps on thriving with the help from people. We also met and talked to some vendors who were selling crafts, homemade dips, and citrus fruits. On this particular day PYG had a DJ and various vendors for the Farmer’s Market that they host every first Saturday of each month.

I encourage you go and support the local community and help the money flow in order to keep our neighborhoods prospering. Not only do you get to help out some nice folks but you get to meet them, become  engaged in the their efforts, and do a little boogie in the process. :)

rulesProject Youth Green’s Garden Guidelines

1. Respect each other and the garden.
2. Every gardener must attend monthly meetings, pay the fee for their plot and volunteer two hours of their time.
3. It is not permitted to grow outside their plot.
4. Children under 10 must be supervised by his/her parents at all times.
5.There are no vehicles permitted on the garden grounds, unless you are handicapped or you need to unload materials.
6. It is not permitted to use fertilizers with chemicals, dogs, alcohol or any illegal substances.

She's whispering to the Gods for Fertility in the Valley,She’s whispering to the Gods for Fertility in the Valley

Squash mouth welcoming the bees.Squash mouth welcoming the bees.

– Jaqueline Bartz and Ana Rosa Murillo

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