Loco for Locavores

Backyard Farming Becomes a Source of Survival

Pushing mache
Pushing mache Photo: KThread via Flickr

Remember, just two days ago, when L.A. Times called backyard farming the new neighborhood status symbol that yuppies were paying thousands for? Today, the paper shares a different side of the soil, revealing the trials of everyday citizens who are trying to survive off of their home-harvests. Whether shilling citrus and gourds through ads on Craigslist and yard sales or canning beans for the swap meet, the trend is spreading rapidly while hearkening “back to the U.S. depression of 1893.” We’ve come a long way, huh baby?

Indeed, the current underground market in “black-yard” produce, which might be illegal in L.A. (just ask Forage restaurant), has arisen mostly from the steep loss of local jobs. That’s what pushed an out-of-work furniture dealer to rip out his weeds and plant beefsteak tomatoes and baby mache, which he scarily tries to sell from plastic baggies to Melisse chef de cuisine Ken Takayama. The chef is one of many to say these impromptu produce pitches are currently quite common and on the rise, explaining, “Every day, every week, it’s something new…You name it, they have it.” Fortunately, Takamaya doesn’t buy the man’s plastic baggie of greens. We suggest he try Roy Choi next time, who is an apparent expert in procuring plastic bags of fine herbs.

Backyard gardens become income generators in lean times [L.A. Times]
Earlier: Backyard Farming Becomes a Neighborhood Status Symbol [Grub Street]

Backyard Farming Becomes a Source of Survival