Meet Eastwind Community Garden
The Eastwind Community Garden is very much like the neighborhood it is nestled in: a mixture of the laid-back, eclectic, serene, yet polished, vibes that Marina del Rey and Venice have become known for. Located smack dab in between the beach and the canals, it’s rare in LA to find a community garden only two blocks away from the ocean but this small oasis fits right in. Spending a breezy afternoon there, I was delighted by the uniquely built plots, innovative irrigation methods (a good use for those empty wine bottles) and the variety of plants growing. Two giant papayas have popped up in the past six months, a plumeria tree invites gawking from the center of the garden, and one gardener had bonsai plants surrounding his plot. This reflects the personality of the garden, or more so, the conflation of personalities that clearly put care and thought into making this a true community space.
There are benches outside for passersby to relax and the gardeners have done a great job of making communal spaces for gardeners and local residents. Their last monthly meeting was held at Beyond Baroque, a unique literary arts center in Venice and the garden has been very active in community outreach. On November 8th, the garden organized a soil workshop and they have plenty more activities up their sleeve. Thank you Eastwind!
Meet a Gardener: Sharlene Sullivan
Eastwind’s garden president Sharlene Sullivan originally hails from New York and, naturally, I assumed she’d become big on gardening after relocating to LA. Naturally, I was wrong. In reality, Sharlene grew up in Upstate New York where she spent her childhood running around in an abundance of green. When she moved to Manhattan, where she worked as an actress, dancer, poet and writer, gardening was very important to her and her courtyard garden became a source of inspiration. Since starting at Eastwind, she has transitioned from growing mostly flowers to more vegetables in the plot she shares with her fiancé. While walking me through the garden, she was able to point out all the gardeners for each plot and tell me a bit about them, giving me a real sense of the community that exists at Eastwind. For Sharlene, who comes from an arts background, she feels similarities between poetry and gardening, and sees an extension of the artist in nature through connecting with earth. As president of the garden, she enjoys putting together holiday parties with wreath-making and cider, community development through workshops and sponsorships, and focusing on the tranquility that comes from gardening. A busy bee, Sharlene is also joining the LACGC Communications Committee and continues to write, direct, and produce films.By Noelle Geller