We asked Vel Lauterio, Sr. Gardener, Valley West, about why she thinks it’s important for the City to have a horticultural section.
Why does the City offer community gardens?
Vel Lauterio: Our Horticulture Section of approximately 132 plots here at Orcutt was created to provide the public with an appreciation for growing things, and also to provide gardeners and farmers who were like minded a place to grow their own produce. I believe this was the original set up of the Community Garden Plots and their purpose.
Why is it important?
To give people an appreciation for growing things, the process, work and effort that goes into producing foodstuff and the sense of accomplishment when they succeed and have food to bring home.
Why should an urban City support a horticulture section?
As a civil service entity, to have a place that provides space to practice
horticulture is important to foster a sense of independence: Citizens don’t have to get produce from the market. It’s also an atmosphere of inclusion for all people with a willingness to work in a community setting. Cities are busy places, and to have a quiet place to think, plan and dream can only be a good thing.
Do other cities have anything like this?
I am aware of only the Los Angeles area. I’ve had requests from other cities asking for ideas or insights to running a Horticultural center. I tell them what I can.