"Gladys Avenue Urban Farm: Organic Produce From the Soil to the Table"
Gladys Avenue Urban Farm is located not far from my home and the ORV Alguita in Long Beach, California. I purchased the property in 1985 to add upholstery to my then furniture repair business across the street. Soon after, I cleared the land adjacent to the building and created “The Company Garden”, based on the concept of integrated local production. Produce from the Garden supplied the employees and local community and was the hub of the Long Beach Food Cooperative. We were the first to sell Mesclun mixed greens in Southern California to our first customer, Papa John’s Natural in Belmont Shore.
The Farm also supplied fruits and vegetables to local distributor, Beach Greens, and serviced Chefs Paul and David in Long Beach. It is now a farm-to-table operation run by Chef Gary Menes, whose restaurant, Le Comptoir, is rated Number 2 in Los Angeles by the Los Angeles Times.
Managing the land organically --- small scale intensive community supported agriculture --- can be key to elimination of agricultural practices harmful to health and damage to the coastal ocean with toxic run-off. Local production also reduces excessive transportation costs, maximizes produce freshness and minimizes packaging, thereby further reducing the use of plastic bags or containers.