Loco for Locavores

How Church & State’s Urban Garden Grows

Church & State's edible garden
Church & State’s edible garden Photo: Pedal Patch Community

Church & State sources all of its produce from farms located within 100 miles of its Downtown restaurant, but is shortening the distance considerably with a new edible garden. Owner Yassmin Sarmadi says she once thought such a garden was an impossible dream, until she met urban-farming advocates at Downtown’s Pedal Patch Community. Dedicated to creatively ending hunger and poverty in L.A., the group helped turn her hopes into reality, overcoming the first challenge of finding space by adding planting rows on the restaurant’s flank and potted herbs at Church & State’s front, both of which add considerable charm to the aptly-named Industrial Ave. So, what’s being grown here?

To start, there are fresh herbs like rosemary, dill, and cilantro taking root as well as onions, sorrel, mizuna, and Osaka red mustard lettuces for the first harvest. The restaurant tells us that later plantings will include seasonal carrots, squash, pumpkin, melons, peppers, cucumbers, and tomatoes, all of which will also allow the restaurant to get your food from their “farm” to your table in record time, and also compost a lot of its food waste to run the garden.

To honor Earth Day this Thursday, Church & State, along with Pedal Patch, is holding an event where young people from the Heart of L.A. program (HOLA) will come to plant seeds in the new garden, then hold a Q&A; session with both Sarmadi and C&S; chef Joshua Smith. We’re thrilled to see another restaurant embrace the edible garden, just as restaurants like Blvd 16, Mozza, and Pitfire Pizza have done, and Grace plans after its move Downtown.

1850 Industrial St. Downtown. 213-405-1434

How Church & State’s Urban Garden Grows