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New Farm In El Monte Breaks Ground Today With Goal Of Feeding Westlake Community

FILE: Tomatoes grown at an urban farm in Long Beach. Today's groundbreaking in El Monte is for a 4.9 acre plot.
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A local community group is breaking ground today on a nearly 5-acre community farm in El Monte.

The plot at Earthworks Farm is a partnership between CultivaLA, L.A. County Board of Supervisors' Chair Hilda L. Solis and the San Gabriel Valley Conservation Corps. Their goal is to promote urban agriculture. 

CultivaLA's Executive Director Jose Miguel Ruiz says the groundbreaking marks a big expansion. With the new location, they go from a "quarter of an acre of the small little garden in downtown L.A. over on 6th & Columbia to a 4.9 acre urban farm in South El Monte."

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Today's groundbreaking is dedicated to one of the country's most notable civil rights activists.

"We're also going to do it in honor of Cesar Chavez who was an activist for farm workers rights," Ruiz said. Cesar Chavez Day is this coming Wednesday.

Ruiz says urban farming is about more than just gardening, it's about developing a sustainable innovative approach to food insecurity. 

"Just simply giving out food is an effort but it's not a long-term sustainable solution. So what we're doing now is growing the food which then the idea is to take it to the Westlake neighborhood and feed the community as well."

Volunteers will:

build raised beds
  • plant seedlings
  • weed and do other garden maintenance
  • assemble a rest area and more.

Everyone is required to wear a mask and practice physical distancing.
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