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FEATURING RACHEL SURLS – This year is the 10th anniversary of the battle to save the South Central Farm – a vibrant urban farm in South Central Los Angeles that had been taken over by mostly immigrants as a space to grow a multitude of fresh crops that fed families. The battle was an intense one in a city and county that was only about a hundred years ago dominated by farmland. In fact, according to a book by my guest and author Rachel Surls, Los Angeles County was once the agricultural center of North America. How did the nation’s most populous county become such a center and how did it then give way to an urban metropolis?

Rachel Surls, Sustainable Food Systems Advisor for the University of California Cooperative extension in Los Angeles County. She has been involved in school gardens, community gardens, and urban agriculture around Los Angeles for more than 25 years. She is the author, with Judith Gerber of the new book, From Cows to Concrete: The Rise and Fall of Farming in Los Angeles.

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