How to find an urban garden (and raise goats) in LA County

Written by

Cultivate LA (Photo: Kelly Rytel)

This post comes to us from Caitlin Shamberg on KCRW’s Which Way, LA? blog. 

UCLA grad students in urban planning have built an impressive website with everything you need to know about urban agriculture in LA County — from raising sheep to harvesting kale. In addition to an infographic, loads of research, and some pretty pictures of produce, the Cultivate LA site features an interactive map, which shows all the community gardens, farms, school gardens and nurseries. There’s probably one near you!

Map shows all the agriculture in the region. Click for the interactive map.
Map shows all the agriculture in the region. Click for the interactive map.

Among the group’s findings:

  • There are a total of 1,261 verified urban agriculture sites — categorized as school gardens, community gardens and commercial primary growing sites — in Los Angeles County.
  • School gardens make up the majority of L.A. County’s urban agriculture activity, with 761 sites. Commercial agricultural operations (nurseries and farms) total 382 sites, and the researchers documented 118 community gardens.
  • Among the county’s 88 cities and unincorporated areas, 87 percent regulate animal farming but only 25 percent regulate fruits, vegetables and other flora. Unclear, complex and conflicting regulations were found to constrain agricultural entrepreneurs.
  • Definitions for agricultural activities in municipal codes vary widely across the county, making it difficult — if not impossible — for urban farmers to operate in compliance with local health and zoning regulations.
  • L.A. County’s urban farmers travel an average of 13.9 miles to distribute their goods versus the 46.8 mile average traveled by the county’s farmers market vendors.

Below, Warren talks to Jaemi Jacskon, one of the students behind the effort to find all of LA County’s urban farms about the research and the regulations (ie: where you are allowed to have goats!)

From Cultivate LA (photo: Kelly Rytel)
From Cultivate LA (Photo: Kelly Rytel)
Cultivate LA (Photo: Kelly Rytel)