No Improvements After The From Lot to Spot Meeting on 091518

It has been about 3 months since the meeting with Maria From Lot to Spot and nothing has improved at the San Pedro All Year Community Gardens (SPAYCG).

There has been no word to the gardeners if nothing of the ideas presented at the meeting is moving forward. Maria and Julie from the LA Garden Council presented at the last meeting and there seems to have been no progress made.

A vote was to be arranged to move ahead with the proposals presented by both Maria and Julie, yet no meeting or votes have been scheduled.

The watering schedule is still limited to 2 days. Most gardeners maybe water 1 day per week. Each day the water is only for 3 hours. So, the garden is in bad shape again.

2018 is almost over and the SPAYCG is in the same situation as 4 years ago when the Sanitation department first cut water to the gardeners.

The city needs to do something again if these organizations they bought on don’t do anything soon.


091518 Meeting Notes

Garden Meeting

There were 2 speakers:

Maria from Lot to Spot and Julie from the LA Garden Council. The meeting lasted 2 hours. About 87 people attended.

They provided updates as to the issues at the garden with the water and the future of the garden.

The Sanitation department cut the water to the gardeners because Mayor Garcetti ordered a 20% water reduction at all city facilities.

Gardeners were unaware of this and suffered because of non-communication from the sanitation department.

In order to get the garden back to working condition in all aspects of water, leadership, and finances decision will have to be made.

The 2 biggest decisions facing the gardeners is to vote on 2 measures:

A) To accept the LA Garden council assistance to organize the garden and leadership.

B) To vote to install a new separate water meter which would increase the cost of having a garden.

The Sanitation department will pay for the installation of a new separate meter.

Watering schedule changes every 2 weeks because they are running tests as to why there is low water pressure.

Engineers came in to analyze the issues with water pressure. There is a report of the findings.

Redoing the piping to all the gardens with the new water meter will very expensive, a grant will be needed to fund the project.

Each has its good and bad.

At a future meeting, the decision will be made on these issues.

Official: General Garden Meeting

Meeting Notice

Date:
9/15/18

Topics:
Meeting open to all San Pedro gardeners to discuss Issues and Updates

Location:
Boys and Girls Clubs of The Los Angeles Harbor
100 W. 5th St.
San Pedro, CA 90731

Time:
11am-1pm

Water Schedule – August 2018

Again,  Sector 3 is burdened with additional 4 “lotes” lots.

The water schedule is still subject to change every 2 weeks. The reason given, “The changes are due to the fact that some areas are not favored with water.”

This makes no sense. What areas? Seems like Sector 3 should have more watering days, not adding more “lotes” to our watering days. See no reason for the schedule change when nothing else is changing. All areas are given an equal number of watering days. As it stands, we only get 4 watering days out of 31 days of August all front loaded at the beginning of August. What about the last 2 weeks of August. Plants need water at the end of the month too.

Gardening on 13% water in the month of August is a joke. How is this gardening?! This is absolutely ridiculous. Can’t others (Carlos) do math to see that 250 gardeners cannot maintain gardens on 13% watering. Not to mention, this is only for 3 hours on those days. Sigh!

August Water Schedule 2018
Water Schedule – August 2018

Inequitable Bi-Weekly Watering Schedule

The watering schedule arranged by Carlos (Board) has inequality built in again. Carlos and the “Board” consistently makes bad decisions.

The biggest issue with this water inequality schedule is in Sector 3. Sector 3 was the most affected by the water source being closed on the north side, no water for almost 3 years while other sectors did. Then, with the pipe reconfiguration, many were left without proper piping and/or irrigation.

Now, to add insult to injury Carlos is burdening Sector 3 water-load to 8 areas ( #1, #13, #14, #15, and +4 lotes (lots)). It makes not sense to have another 4 “lotes” included in Sector 3 when all sectors have their appointed watering days and times listed on the schedule. Unless Carlos is opening the water to other sectors when he should not be.  Carlos needs to be questioned about this decision.

Biweekly watering schedule

Sectors 1 and 2, the least burdened, only serve water to  5 areas. Remember each area serves about 40-50 gardens, so the more areas, the more water is required and the longer hours needed.

Making a schedule that changes every 2 weeks is bad. This means we don’t know when water is going to be available consistently and without change. Also, it would help if there were watering days in both the morning (AM) and afternoon (PM). This would also help spread the water load to different times. Now, people are forced to use it at the same time, causing low water pressure, and not enough water. People have different schedules and by not offering both leaves gardens to die.

Once again Carlos and the Board have made decisions that are bad for the San Pedro All Year Community Gardens. They have let down the gardeners they are meant to serve. This trend of bad decision making will continue with Carlos and his appointed “Board” until they are replaced.

2018 New Garden Rules – Los Angeles Community Garden Council

Click to read full list of rules for 2018 (this is only page 1).

San Pedro Garden Rules via LA Community Garden Counsil Rules
2018 Rules For All Gardeners

Still missing the most important rule, which is to make applicants to San Pedro All Year Community Gardens be a resident of San Pedro.

This is the fundamental basis as the name of the garden implies, San Pedro All Year Community Garden. First, it is for the residents of San Pedro who want to grow vegetables in a community garden. This is the only correct way to deal with the waitlist for gardens as well.

Other important rules include, if someone leaves their garden faucet open unattended, this should be a violation since this can cause the decrease in water pressure for others and importantly flood surrounding areas and soil erosion causing collapsing of make-shift retaining walls. This has happened and is a serious violation to qualify for losing the right to garden in SPAYCG.

Incorrect Water Piping Layout

In area 13, 14, and 15, the irrigation system is a mess. The foundation of the piping was bad to start with. When the water source on the northside was shut down there were many unsuccessful attempts to solve the water problems.

There was the initial piping with the water source from the northside, so all piping was configured to water the gardens from that source. It worked fine.

After, there have been 2 new attempts to route water to area 13, 14, 15 (there might be other areas without water which I am not aware of).  For now, we will address these areas since I know what has been done.

There was an attempt to re-pipe and configure the water initiated by 2 gardeners. Let’s call this system the “A-system” with the water sources coming from the northside. Because of conflict with Carlos (Board), the system was never “official” even though the new piping was completed.

Then, another system, let’s call this “C-system” was implemented which was a hybrid system connecting to A-system using the water source closer to the Green house.  This C-system is done incorrectly.

The diagram below shows the dashed (–) lines as the main ateries into the garden. The pipes are setup to distribute water into only half of one artery leaving the rest of the lower gardens without water.  The 2 smaller pipes (right of diagram) only supply water to private gardens.

C-system: Incorrectly configured and not going down main arteries into garden.

It exludes piping to one of the main arteries into the garden. This cause gardens to not have water and places the water piping in private gardens which makes no sense. This then becomes an issue when trying to connect new pipes. Gardeners who benefits from the placement of water pipes do not want others connecting to that water sources as they feel a right of false ownership because of pipe placement in their gardens. They don’t want to have less water and or pressure. These private water pipes should be moved to the main artery of the garden.

This is the C-system in place and needs improvement to provide water to lower gardens.

Still No Water

I was really hopeful to have water, but I’m sad to report no water.

So what was done?

Dues collected from the 85 gardeners who have not had water. A notice was put up and then taken down after about 7 days. It was more like 2 days for collection of dues since I was there on the first day and Carlos was not in the office at the allocated time to collect money.

No emails were sent to them, no calls were made, no attempt to be proactive by “The Board” to notify people, except for a posted notice. I’m sorry to say, gardeners might have lost their gardens since they did not have a chance to see the dues notice. This is unfair to them. How could they anticipate this after so many years of no water when the notice was going to be put up? There should be an appeals process put in place to rectify this issue.

New LA Garden Counsel rules were given to us. I have compared the rules to other gardens, and the main rule that say’s gardens should be for the residents of San Pedro was missing. Other community gardens have this requirement and so should the San Pedro All Year Community Gardens.

As for the water – it appears as if it was a pipe that was already connected. The shut-off valve was simply turned on to allow water to move to our side of the garden.

The gardens at the top benefit because of the water pipe location and being turned on. It never reaches the bottom gardeners who are affected the most severely from not having water for years. This tells me, no additional piping was done to fix the water problems and supply water with proper pressure to all the lower gardens.

“The Board” has once again done a below expectation job of implementing this new water system. Right now, it’s simply a schedule. Until more thought, and all gardens are getting water fairly will not improve our gardens. For now, there is NO water.