Growing up in the city I’m used to thinking of plants as being grey – like the sidewalks, like old asphalt, or like a smoggy sky. Living pretty much across the street from train yards, an industrial laundry, and the Long Beach Freeway probably helped me come to this conclusion. Even weeds when they are thirsty develop a certain grayness about them.
The first time I dealt with plants that had been tended to I was amazed at the vibrance of the colors and the strength of the stems. Farm folk would have laughed at me if I’d said that out loud, but that was what I thought.
I suspect there are bunches and bunches of folks who live in North Pasadena who have had the same thought. Which is why the work being done at Muir Ranch is so exciting and intriguing.
What had been an asphalty, bungalow filled area, next to the new Science building at Muir High School has been transformed. Muir Ranch is part of a cooperative – Community Based Agriculture – that strives to develop partnership that benefits all involved. Students get to learn about food production, food is produced locally, and community member have access to fresh food.
The cement is still there but it is balanced by the 1.5 acre urban farm which includes a double helix maze. Who knows maybe there’ll be a maize maze in the fall?
The noise of the freeway is nearby, but so is the buzz of the bee and vibrantly colored produce.