Since 1992, the 14 acres of property located at 41st and Alameda Streets in South Central Los Angeles have been used as a community garden. The City divided the land among 350 families who live in the impoverished community, and those families have used the land to grow crops to feed themselves and their neighbors. The land is also used for local gatherings and public celebrations, and helps tie the residents together into a community. It is believed to be one of the largest urban gardens in the United States.
The land, however, doesn’t belong to the gardeners – or the city.
In 2003, the Los Angeles city government succumbed to pressure and agreed to sell this farmland to a business called LHIC for around $5 million.
LHIC argues that they bought the land fair and square, that it’s legally theirs, and that the gardeners need to get off their land. And the farmers are arguing back, saying that the city violated its charter when it agreed to sell this land without following proper procedure. So far, the courts are agreeing with LHIC and the City of Los Angeles, not the farmers. But the gardeners aren’t giving up, despite an eviction notice posted March 1, 2006. It’s your classic David v. Goliath battle, with gardeners fighting the corporate world.
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