History

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

  • USDA

  • 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 farm scape. 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.

Municipal Mulch Yard

The municipal mulch yard has been moved. Its now located at Willow Springs Longview Park directly above Farm Lot 59 off Orange Ave. You must enter off Orange Ave, you cannot get there from the Farm Lot side. 

 

The parking lot is open and it is self serve. 

 

More info can be found at: www.sustainablelb.com

Questions about the farm.

WHAT IS FARM LOT 59?

Farm Lot 59 is an organic urban farm located at 2714 California Avenue, we are a production farm that services the local community as well as teaches an edible education. 

CAN YOU BRING CHILDREN TO WORK ON THE FARM?

We would love to invite you and your family to the farm during any of our community scheduled work days. We also encourage you to plan a field trip with your child's school. 

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Directors

Sasha Kanno

Founder & Farmer

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 Wrigley with her husband, young son, backyard chickens, fish, dog and a tortoise. 

Martin Howard

President


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.

Justin Hectus

Board Secretary

Justin Hectus is Director of Information for the law firm of Keesal, Young & Logan and an active volunteer in the local community. His work in technology and the arts has been featured in well over 100 regional and national publications and he regularly contributes articles and presentations on current topics in these areas. Justin has over 15 years of non-profit board experience and he is the volunteer co-founder of the award-winning Summer and Music (SAM) series. Justin was sadly cursed with two brown thumbs, but he was drawn to Long Beach Local and Farm Lot 59 because of his desire to support urban farming and food education for young children.

Steve South

Board Vice President

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.

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Long Beach Local is an agriculture based official 501(c)3 non-profit organization that relies on donations, grant funding and the sale of our farm products to cover our operational costs. Our mission Incubating Urban Farming & Food Education from the ground up. We serve Long Beach and the surrounding area. 2714 California Ave, 90755