Interview with Joyce Lapinsky, LA project manager for Urban Farming during the 2007 Fruit Tree Tour planting at Washington Elementary in Compton.
One of the most potent effects of Common Vision’s work on Fruit Tree Tour is the collaborations with local and national organizations with varied foci from urban nutrition to global warming to sustainable farming to arts and ceremony. This collaboration highlight is UrbanFarming.org. Urban Farming’s mission is to eradicate hunger while increasing diversity, motivating youth and seniors, and optimizing the production of food on unused urban land.
Urban Farming founder and Executive Director, Taja Sevelle and Common Vision Education Director Michael Flynn have been in contact for the past 2 years, developing a strategy for working together to make real change towards their shared vision. In 2007, Urban Farming provided a scholarship for a Compton school, Washington Elementary, to participate in the Fruit Tree Tour Program free of charge. As part of the Coalition to Eradicate Hunger, Washington Elementary has agreed to give 10% of their harvest to a local food bank.
While 99% of the students at Washington are on free or reduced lunch, Principal Ontrece Ellerbe agreed that the opportunity for the students to experience giving to their larger community would be indispensable. Urban Farming and Common Vision both view this as the humble beginnings to a long relationship of planting orchards together in Los Angeles.