Crop Swap LA is aiming to grow food on unused spaces in Los Angeles, creating sustainable green jobs and hyperlocal, nutrient-rich food for communities as well as the knowledge of how to grow it.
The group, founded by LA resident and former stock trader Jamiah Hargins, aims to eliminate food scarcity by making use of unused places in the city.
Earlier this year Crop Swap LA launched Asante Microfarm in a South Los Angeles front lawn, the first of many water-recycling microfarms it plans to build around the city. Asante, which means thank you in Swahili, grows 600 edible plants, including bok choy, tatsoi, basil, thyme, radicchio, green oak, Jericho romaine, butter lettuce, garlic, chives, oregano, rainbow Swiss chard, eggplant, Sakura red cherry tomatoes, Tuscan kale, and a Hood pear tree.
Asante Microfarm uses just 8% of the water that was previously used for grass. The produce is grown in the front yard of a house using organic and regenerative growing practices, composting, and all-natural animal and pest deterrence.
The microfarm is a subscription-based food service, and once a week, the produce is harvested and picked up the same day by local families. Since launching operations three months ago, Jamiah Hargins already has 50 families subscribed to the service and 50 more on the waitlist. All the subscribers live within a two-mile radius of the farm.
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living.