Meet The Ladies Who Are Growing Food In Los Angeles


Manju Kumar of Sarvodaya Farms. Photo Clarissa Wei.

“I really wish there was some way we can revert to a more agrarian culture,” Manju Kumar, farm manager of Sarvodaya Farms in Pomona says.

Link TV
May 10, 2017


When Kumar, originally from India, moved to the greater Los Angeles area in 1986, she started growing food in her backyard. She kept it simple, like burying her food waste in the garden to increase fertility. Her fruit trees and vegetables weren’t particularly producing in abundance, but it was better than nothing

“And then I went to the Los Angeles Arboretum and learned about permaculture,” she says.

Today, she is in charge of Sarvodaya Farms, a mini-farm that composts 100,000 pounds of organic waste annually and has produced over 14,468 pounds of food on less than half an acre on a residential lot in suburban Pomona. The farm operates under a CSA program and has a farmer training program that teaches people the ropes of growing food.

“I see [farming] as a powerful act of resistance, especially for women activists who are looking to make a difference,” Katie Lewis, the farmer training program manager at Sarvodaya says. “It creates a sense of autonomy.”

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