Long Beach sprouted out of an agrarian dream, a pastoral fantasy of bean fields and beaches that sustained entire generations before the onset of the city’s industrial complex. But as happens with the immutable laws of progress, those plots all eventually disappeared, family farms and cultural traditions wiped out by time. With that came not just a divorce from the land, but a fundamental shift in thinking that has left many of our friends and neighbors without access to or understanding of good, fresh food. Long Beach, however, is blessed now with a whole community of food philanthropists: gardeners, cooks, activists and organizations all using their green thumbs for good. They’re reconnecting with the soil, and with Long Beach itself—feeding us, teaching us and reminding us of the simple pleasures (and power) of food. It’s not a new vision, but an eternal one, a return to the time when local, seasonal produce dictated diets and compassion compelled those more fortunate to extend a helping hand.
Read the stories of Jimmy Ng, Adriana Martinez, Cindy Goss and Paul Buchanan in the District.