Five Questions on Why Grow Food

Carlina Thomas is the communications liaison for the Huntington Beach Community Garden.

As the Huntington Beach Community Garden’s vice president, Carlina Thomas raises community awareness about the importance of learning how to grow food. Here’s why she’s so dedicated to the cause.

Q. Why do you think it’s important to garden?

A. Food is going to run short in the future, so it is vital to human sustainability to educate humans on how to grow food.

We’re on a mission to help educate the community. People use too much Roundup these days – we’re so organic (at our garden), you should be able to eat everyone’s soil.

Q. How did you come to be so involved with gardening?

A. I’ve always loved gardening – I had to pull weeds when I was growing up (in Fountain Valley).

And I think the Huntington Beach Community Garden is a jewel in this city’s crown. I love volunteering in my community: I was PTA president and Neighborhood Watch president, too.

Q. What do you enjoy the most about this work?

A. Mostly the kids. Their excitement and amazement is one of my favorite things to see.

A lot of kids come with their parents. A boy came here the other day and he didn’t know that a sunflower seeds came out of a flower.

We want to offer programs that educate and support youth and disadvantaged youth.

Anytime youth groups want to tour and learn about organic food, we welcome that.

Q. As organic food has become more popular nationally, do you think the attitude toward it in Huntington Beach has changed, too?

A. It’s a growing culture with increasing demand, and we have plot-holders of all ages.

I think there’s a hunger for open space alternatives. A lot of people who don’t have yards come here. This is one of the bigger community gardens in Orange County, and I’d love to see it flourish in its membership and in the Girl Scouting and Boy Scouting.

Q. From its founding to the present, what has been part of the learning curve with the garden?

A. How to meet every community member’s demand. We lack plots; and the community has no idea how many hours we’ve worked. People that use the river trail sometimes aren’t Huntington Beach residents, so to keep the gardeners safe and prevent vandalism, we have the gate and fence.

We want everyone to be safe and feel safe.

Contact the writer: or 714-796-7845

To read this at the source, go to theOrange County Register.


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