Taking The Reins

Urban Farming Program

An integral part of our Weekend, After school, and Summer Programming, the Urban Farming Program consists of learning the basics of organic gardening, environmental stewardship, animal husbandry, and nutritious cooking. The grounds and garden act as a laboratory where participants are empowered to make healthier decisions by raising a plant from seed to skillet.  Every class ends with a cooking demonstration where girls can taste the delicious bounty they have been growing and share the harvest of their labors with their families.

The Urban Farming Program is crucial to residents of Los Angeles’ City.  Council District 13, where many of our TTR participants live, have the least amount of green space in the city and the obesity rate among kids is nearly 30 percent. A direct correlation has made between economic hardship and lack of access to resources and information to improve overall health. The Urban Farm is a space for young women to escape food deserts and connect with the natural land and LA River, just adjacent to our property. Every girl leaves with a memento in the form a plant so that they can start their own garden on the balconies or windowsills and share their new skills with their families.

“The best thing about Taking the Reins is the garden because in the morning sun it looks like a fairytale.” – Devyn, 12

Our ongoing seasonal list of garden offerings:

  • Carrots
  • Radishes
  • Fennel
  • Kale
  • Heirloom tomatoes
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Christmas lima beans
  • Strawberries
  • Culinary herbs
  • Nectarines
  • Mustard Greens
  • Fava Beans
  • Broccoli
  • Arugula
  • Potatoes

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Urban GardenChris Alexakis