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History of Ocean View Farms

A brief history of Ocean View Farms

Ocean View Farms was founded In 1977 by a group of people interested in growing produce on a hillside in West Los Angeles overlooking Santa Monica Bay. The use of public lands for gardening was originally Mayor Tom Bradley's idea. OVF was begun with federal funding from the CETA program. The land where OVF is situated is owned by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and administered by the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks.

OVF quietly developed from a couple of acres, expanding four times to fill the six acres it occupies today. Over 300 gardeners work 500 garden plots. OVF's members vary in age from 18 to 90, and include a wide range of income levels and speak many languages. Occupations include manual laborers, housewives, managers, professionals, students and retired persons, among others.

OVF began as an open field that once grew soy beans. The founders laid the plan, leveled and terraced as needed. They established plots approximately 15 feet by 15 feet separated by pathways. A water system was installed to make water accessible to every plot. Included in the layout was a substantial orchard with fruit trees of numerous varieties which fruits are enjoyed by all members.

From 1995 through 2006, Ocean View Farms was honored with the distinction of being a Waste Reduction Awards Program (WRAP) winner for 12 consecutive years. In bestowing this award the California Integrated Waste Management Board, now CalRecycle, recognized OVF for its long-term contribution to waste reduction and resource efficiency. CIWMB applauded our voluntary efforts to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Our activities have helped cut California's trash in half and save both OVF and the City of Los Angeles money. OVF's efforts have helped protect the environment while saving real business dollars.

OVF is the largest of more than 60 community gardens in Los Angeles County. Click here for a map of all of the community gardens in Los Angeles, or here for a PDF list of all community gardens in Los Angeles.

We like to think that OVF is a community garden where the term "community" signifies an organization of friends banding together through a common concern about how our food is grown, passionately concerned about our environment, and dedicated to the idea of sharing.