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Meeting 2: Next Course Pasadena - defining the future of food in LA

The Next Course – Pasadena

Visioning a healthier more sustainable future.

Our first meeting was an inspiring success. Forty-five passionate, engaged people gathered at the Armory on Earth Day to share their ideas, skills and histories and, most importantly, revealing that we have the people, facilities and the need to redefine our relationship with food and the environment.

For our second meeting we'll hear from Pasadena Public Health Director, Dr. Eric G. Walsh, MD, MPH, who has done great work to increase the awareness of thehealth impact of an inappropriate diet – as well as of stress and economic uncertainty. He is a compelling speaker whose work has increased support for healthy food and gardens. We'llthen discuss what we can do – what this piece of the puzzle looks like.


Then we'll discuss Pasadena Learning Gardens’great passion to make many gardens into educational resource centers to the communities around them. Local urban homesteader Hop Hopkinswill discuss his work with the Los Angeles Land Trust that will bring a new garden to the Ville-Parke Community Center, and the experience of using his homestead (Panther Ridge Farms) as a resource to the community. Mark Rice will follow to discuss his gardens at PUSD Community School Madison Elementary and the Altadena Community Garden (located in a county park).


The Next Courseinitiative is a process that will initially work to identify a framework within which communities can gather and focus on their passions while working with other communities.  We will coordinate our activities and be the change we want to see.  And we want to hear from YOU!


Our initial areas of focus will be:

  • Analysis and Policy - Food deserts and where can my chickens live, and doing it sustainably...
  • Educating / Resourcing - Utilize and support school, community and private gardens and orchards to build, educate and resource local citizens and communities.
  • Production - Produce it: for ourselves, our communities, or our markets.
  • Distribution - Foodswaps, farmer’s markets, entrepreneurial efforts and buying cooperatives.
  • Funding - Making this organizationally sustainable.

Pasadena Learning Gardens, in partnership with La Loma Developmentand others is convening and facilitating four meetings with the last focused on our next steps.  We take time to get to know one another and our passions and build a plan to better collaborate in this important work. Note that we intend to have task forces in each of the above groups, so even if you can't attend but are passionate about one or more of these topics just let us know of your interest. We also hope to identify a liaison to all our sister organizations so if that's you, let us know!


Our third meeting will be in June and will focus on Production and Distribution.


Come be part of this important dialog; where informed community members will report on their efforts follow by an open dialog.

Facilitator for the Series: Mark Rice, Executive Director of Pasadena Learning Gardens, Garden coordinator at Hathaway Sycamoresand Madison Elementary School, program coordinator at Altadena Community Garden, Member of LA Food Policy CouncilUrban Ag working group,  and Master Gardener.


Speakers: Our Next, Second Meeting

Dr. Eric G. Walsh, MD, MPH: City of Pasadena Public Health Director – If you've not heard Dr. Walsh just google Eric Walsh Pasadenaand filter for videos.

Hop Hopkins:Manager of Panther Ridge Farms and Program Director, Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust



Speakers: First Meeting

Marco Barrantes:Owner of La Loma Developmentand author of the Berkeley Food Policy Council report Feed Your Cityfrom 2002.

Gail Murphy:Founder of Ripe Altadena, a thriving community of food sharers, and accomplished gardener and fruit tree grafter (late cancel who we hope to hear from at meeting 3)

Elizabeth Bowman:Graduate of Antioch’s Sustainability Program, co-founder of the Altadena Farmer’s market, Member of LA Food Policy Council Urban Ag working group and author of the urban agriculture survey used by LAFPC

January Nordman: NELA Transitionsboard member and co-founder / designer of the Throop Church Learning Garden

Brian Biery:Director of Community Organizing at the Flintridge Centerand who helped facilitate the Pasadena City-School work plancommunity meetings.



The following two meetings will be announced to the Pasadena Learning Gardens Urban Farmers Meetup, (, and other community group distribution lists.   Also, check TheNextCourse.orgfor updates

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  • Andrea

    Another great meeting! I can't wait to see how this all comes together. We can effect change and do something to make things better. This must be what writing the Declaration of Indepence felt like. (Just a little) :)

    May 9, 2013

  • Chieko ".

    Working that night.

    May 9, 2013

  • Andrea

    my guests are tentative!

    May 8, 2013

  • Chris

    Bringing the wife if she gets back from san diego in time.

    May 4, 2013

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