Hollywood Garden Melting Pot

The many faces of Los Angeles not only applies to the multitude of cultures and the comingling of people from different socio-economic backgrounds, but also to the face of its changing neighborhoods.  For $10/month anyone willing to work a plot of land can grow vegetables at the Fountain Community Gardens,” located at Fountain Avenue and St. Andrews.

One of the first members of Fountain’s Garden went to school in the neighborhood, and was an altar boy at a Russian Orthodox church.  He has witnessed the area’s population shift from Eastern European and Italian, to a mix of Mexican, Central American, Thai and Armenian.  However, it is the shared experience of the garden that bridges the generational gaps and language barriers as it brings its members together on common ground as “community gardener.”

Once a trailer home to provide temporary shelter to poor single mothers, this lot became infiltrated by gang members and meth cooks.  After a fire spread to a neighboring home, residents demanded change and the community garden began.  Attracting people in the entertainment industry as well as people who are homeless, and former runaway youths, these gardens yield such produce as Chinese greens, Italian basil, artichoke, sugar cane, and asparagus.
One plot is owned by a local restaurant co-owner of the Larchmont Grill whose garden has been thriving for the past eight months.

Some members of the Hollywood Studio District Neighborhood Council are currently pushing for a community center on the site, if Fountain Community Gardens’ arrangement with the city is not renewed.

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