Sometimes, we just go for it, and sometimes good things happen. If the ideas in the letter I wrote to the Annenberg Foundation resonate with people here in Palos Verdes, it was meant to be. I’ve included the text here, so that people who find my blog through reading my Letter to the Editor in Palos Verdes Peninsula News can find out more.
Dear Ms. Annenberg:
I live in Rancho Palos Verdes and I am delighted that you want to bring a project to our beautiful coastline. I understand that some of our citizens are not completely on board with the construction, and I want to address that problem here.
Over a year ago, a few concerned parents began a Sustainability Task Force for the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District (PVPUSD). One of their missions was to begin some ambitious school gardens. They contacted me, a Master Gardener with a small organic farm of my own, asking me to spearhead two small orchards and a garden program at Cornerstone Elementary. Their ultimate goal was to grow enough food at 19 school sites to supply the lunch program with locally grown produce.
As you know, there is a strong movement in this country toward supporting locally produced food that is grown in a sustainable way. But I quickly pointed out that the most efficient way to grow food of the quantity desired was through farming one large contiguous plot.
This is where the Annenberg Foundation could help build bridges with the community of Rancho Palos Verdes. A portion of the Pointe Vicente area (8 ½ acres) used to be farmland, enough to eventually provide PVPUSD with fresh food for school lunches. In addition, it would be a natural location for educating the students where their vegetables come from, how it can be grown in an ecologically friendly way, and how they can become better stewards of the planet.
If you added not just a garden but a permaculture-based edible landscape to your plan, you would win the favor of many households in Rancho Palos Verdes while achieving your goals of sustainability and innovation. The farm at Lower Point Vicente could become an exemplary destination for people studying agriculture, much like the Findhorn Garden in Scotland, or Esalen’s garden in Big Sur. With the zeitgeist of the culture looking strongly at our food sources today, and with people concerned about our food security for the future, there is no better time to create an Eden than now.
I would be honored to help you create a project that dovetails into your original plans, so that the community can easily see how your dreams aid the welfare of their children and improve the health of everyone concerned. Teresa Mee, Director of Food Services and the woman in charge of procuring food for PVPUSD’s lunches has asked me to supply as much produce as I can. If I had a larger farm, a small staff of helpers, and a nursery, I could grow enough for the school district. With your vision, it would be the Annenberg Foundation giving children the education necessary to carry on a tradition of making a significant, lasting, tangible contribution to their community by growing their own food.
Please contact me at your convenience. I will be a wealth of information and could put together a business plan for the first five years of operation, or just brainstorm ideas on how to make Lower Point Vicente a truly unique, evolving educational center. For more information about me, you can visit my website and my blog at judyshomegrown.com.
cc: Leonard Aube