Farm Lot 59 is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 2010 by Sasha Kanno. With the help of our founding board, local residents and the City of Long Beach the .6-acre farm was started. We are located on “historic lot number 59” in central Long Beach. The name “Farm Lot 59” makes a direct reference to Long Beach’s early agricultural past. In 1881, William Willmore made an agreement with J. Bixby & Co. to develop the American Colony, a 4,000-acre piece of the Rancho Los Cerritos. With a 350-acre town site called Willmore City that would later become downtown Long Beach, the rest of the American Colony was made up of 20-acre farm lots. The farm lots were numbered 1 through 185. Willmore City and the American Colony were renamed Long Beach in 1884, but the farm lots remained until rapid urbanization subdivided them into home lots after the Pacific Electric Railway came to Long Beach in 1902. Because of its topography and role in the City’s municipal water infrastructure, Farm Lot 59 was never developed into a farm or homes and remains owned by the City of Long Beach to this day. A unique remainder of the American Colony.
Farm Lot 59 was built on the remnants of an illegal dump. The abandoned parcel was cleaned up with the help from the City of Long Beach and the soil was replaced with clean fill dirt. Once the rubbish was removed the first seeds were planted in Spring 2012.
Sasha and the community shared a vision to teach food and farming to the residents of Long Beach. They believed in the importance of knowing where your food comes from and access to fresh produce. From the very beginning we taught the importance of food production and the elimination of food miles. We pride ourselves on varietal choices picking only what grows best in our climate and passing on the knowledge of holistic farming principles.
Over 3,000 people have either visited our farm or attended an educational program on Farm Lot 59. Programs run by Farm Lot 59 over the past eight years include:
A 22-member Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Program
A flock of 60 animal-welfare approved hens laying 111 dozen eggs per week at peak production
Plant a Row for the Hungry – donating 1500 pounds of produce
Edible Education and Living Classroom – open to all area schools
Plant Donation Program providing over 1,000 plants to Long Beach Organic and other local school and community gardens
Farm Lot is a proud advocate for local food policy and was a key instrument in the adoption of AB 551 and for modernizing our city’s outdated agriculture ordinance. We work closely with Long Beach Fresh on a continuing basis and the Good Food Purchasing Policy. We’ve worked together with many diverse organizations, representatives of local and regional governments, public agencies, other farmers, ranchers and food businesses. Our collaborative work is beginning to change local food access in Long Beach.
In 2016 Farm Lot 59 became Certified Naturally Grown after a vigorous inspection meaning we don’t use any synthetic herbicide, pesticides, fertilizers, or genetically modified organisms.
Now an eight-year-old farm with a committed board and strong support from City leadership. We are building on that foundation to implement our vision, elevating our educational program to extend the reach of our edible education through teacher training and increased focus on advanced farmer training and the holistic approach to farming and efficiency. We value farming as a career choice and see its importance in the local economy. And, we believe access to healthy food is a right, and understanding where your food comes from is empowering.
We have a long track record of partnership with community organizations, including:
Boy Scouts of America
The City of Long Beach
Conservation Corps of Long Beach
Friends of the LA River
Long Beach Organic
Long Beach City College
Long Beach Tree Planting Program / Port of Long Beach
University of California Master Gardeners
Wrigley is Going Green
Our farm demonstrates a small-scale model of sustainable agriculture using current best practices with the 2016 USDA-funded high tunnel extension. We believe that farming in the form of big agriculture is not the path to a healthy food system. We’re working to change the future of food by proving that vacant property can be transformed into a sustainable urban farmscape. When farming on a smaller scale one can take pride in the land and show diversity in one’s ecosystem and restore the soil back to its healthier state. As a result of the way we appreciate and value the soil at the farm, we’re rewarded with vegetables, fruit, and flowers that we can share with the community. You can taste the difference in what the farm produces, not only because it was grown with care, but also because it was harvested from the earth which we nurtured.
Farm Lot 59's partners represent friends and partners in our community from both non-profit and for-profit models. We work with outstanding businesses tackling real challenges but with creativity to allow economy, community, and our shared environments to thrive.
We are supported by organizations committed to sustainability and working to build a more vibrant future. Together, we collaborate on edible education accessible by all, urban agriculture in its many forms, programs, food policy, events and more.
We rely on these relationships to help us both spread the word of a more healthy and nutritious lifestyle.
Interested in collaborating? Send us an email
Board of Directors
Sasha is the founder of Long Beach Local, an agriculture based non-profit holding the lease for Farm Lot 59. She is the farmer and vision behind Farm Lot 59. Her mission is to grow the best varieties, rare and heirloom best suited for this climate of coastal desert and to train the next generation of urban farmers. She has been awarded numerous grants and awards for her work in the community as a leader, innovator and driving force in the local food movement. She lives in Long Beach with her son, cat, dog and a tortoise.
A Southern California native and life-long cyclist who competed in the 1988 Olympic Trials, Martin D. Howard projects the type of self-assurance that is common in those who have proven themselves time and time again.
In 1972, Martin’s father, Michael Howard, started a small construction business out of his garage after teaching himself the trade and obtaining his contractor’s license. Martin grew up working “in the trades” surrounded by the business he learned by being hands-on while working side-by-side with his father on the weekends and after school.
Following his college graduation, Martin competed in the United States and Europe as a member of the US National Cycling Team. In 1988, he returned to his roots, continuing with the family business and working in the field seven days a week.
With close to 40 years of experience in the industry, Martin has grown the small family business his father began into a successful, multi-million-dollar company with over 50 employees. Over the years, he has been involved in many successfully completed commercial, industrial, hospitality, medical and mixed-use developments. Howard CDM’s more prominent achievements in construction include the Laemmle Theatres, Centurion Plaza at Fashion Island, SteelCraft and Le Cordon Bleu. In the realm of development management, notable projects consist of The Pike at Rainbow Harbor, City Place in Long Beach, and The District in Tustin.
Martin is involved in cycling and community development in Long Beach where he, his wife, and their three children make their home. He is the president of nonprofit organization BIKEable Communities, a board member of Farm Lot 59, and also played a major role in the revitalization of a mile-long commercial corridor along Long Beach Boulevard in Bixby Knolls.
EDCO is one of the largest family held solid waste companies in the State of California. In his duties, Mr. South is responsible for oversight of all operations in Los Angeles County, Orange County and San Diego County, including refuse and recycling collection, processing / marketing / transportation of recyclables, customer service, inter-governmental affairs, market development, transfer and transport operations. In addition, he has directly overseen the development, permitting, financing, design and construction of ten new Solid Waste / Material Recovery Facilities. Mr. South has been officially recognized by the United States House of Representatives, the State of California Senate and Assembly, the County of San Diego and the Port of San Diego among others, for outstanding business leadership and community support.
Board Member & Volunteer Coordinator
C.J. Crockett, is a 3rd Generation LB native, with gardening and farming in her blood. Her grandfather was a land lease farmer at Rancho Los Alamitos, where her father was raised growing corn & watermelon among other things. C.J. has been married 30 years and has two adult sons.
She owns and runs House to Home - Fine Gardens, landscape company for 17 years, after receiving a Certificate in Horticulture from LBCC. Her company specializes in small scale and patio gardens often found on waterfront property. She is well versed, both through education and hands on experience, in use of native plants, lower water gardens and other components that blend to fit the Southern California lifestyle.
Prior to founding House to Home, C.J. spent many years working in school gardens, guiding youth programs, and as a volunteer. She is a regular guest lecturer and instructor to various groups throughout the community on multiple garden topics and at all age levels.
C.J. is a member of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers and is on the designer list for the LB Lawn to Garden Program.
Liana Prieto is Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Luther Burbank Corporation and Luther Burbank Savings, a $7.0 billion community bank. She is responsible for leading a team of legal, human resources, Bank Secrecy Act, and third party risk management professionals; she is also a member of the company’s Executive Committee. Prior to joining Luther Burbank, Liana served as Counsel at Buckley Sandler LLP from 2009 to 2014; and as a trial attorney in the Enforcement & Compliance Division of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. In addition to her role at Luther Burbank, Liana has also served in leadership and advisory roles in various legal associations, including the American Bar Association’s Business Law Section and the American Association of Bank Directors. She holds a J.D. from Fordham Law School and a B.A. from Georgetown University.
Liana is also a principal of Dirt Days LLC, a tour company specializing in off-road Baja adventures.