The Garden

From the ashes of the L.A. riots arose a lush, 14-acre community garden, the largest of its kind in the United States. Now bulldozers threaten its future.

Environment, Health and Food

Download Study Guide

About the Film

The fourteen-acre community garden at 41st and Alameda in South Central Los Angeles is the largest of its kind in the United States. Originally created as a form of healing after the devastating L.A. riots in 1992, the community garden is now viewed as (the South Central Farmers have since created) a miracle in one of the country’s most blighted neighborhoods. On what was once cement, the South Central Farmers began growing their own food and feeding their own families. They built a community around a piece of nature in an urban setting. But now, bulldozers are poised to level their 14-acre oasis.

The Garden follows the plight of the farmers, from the tilled soil of this urban farm to the polished marble of City Hall. Mostly immigrants from Latin America, from countries where they feared for their lives if they spoke out, we watch the South Central Farmers organize, fight back, and demand answers: Why was the land sold to a wealthy developer for millions less than fair-market value? Why was the transaction done in a closed-door session of the LA City Council? Why has it never been made public?

The people with the power to save the garden all have the same response: “The garden is wonderful, but there is nothing more we can do.”

If everyone told you nothing more could be done, would you give up?