inside the Jordan Downs Housing Projects. Here we taught a class called the “Value of a Seed,” taking the children tothe gardens and planting the ingredients that go into pesto, salsa, coleslaw, and other products. We taught the childrenhow to design recipes and logos for their food products.With the help of donations to the Watts Garden Club, we bought our own center in the heart of Watts in 2002. At theClub, we have our own Community Supported Agriculture project (CSA), which provides fresh farm produce to theinvisible populations here, and we operate our own produce stand and farmers' market. We train youth in agriculturalentrepreneurship (which include classes in manners, grooming, hospitality, and vendor education). We teach “TheValue of a Seed” on organic gardening and creating value-added products. Participants in the “Made in Watts” classmake their own bath products for sale to our community. The “Organic Greenhouse” class teaches people to growlettuce, herbs, and flowers indoors. The center will soon have a greenhouse in the courtyard. “The Kitchen” coversvegan and vegetarian cooking. We also hold anti-drug/gang rallies, HIV support groups, and holistic workshops. Weinvolve the community in garden construction, and we network with other low-income communities of color. Wehave over 200 students at our center, and we go out to where people are to plant gardens and teach classes.One of the students in the Watts Garden Club is a young man we will call David. He has never met his father, who isserving a life sentence in prison. His mother is on drugs and his stepfather is a drug dealer. David is hyperactive andcannot stop moving his hands. He is asthmatic, uses an inhaler, and takes Ritalin. At 11 years old, he is a prime targetto join a gang. He is talkative and likes to use his hands. I taught him how to build containers and plant herbs, flowers,and vegetables. He learned how to ask retailers if he can beautify their landscape with his creations. He has a picture book of his work and is always very successful. Now the biggest hurdle to clear is his inability to save.We also offer think tank sessions at the Garden Club. Here we plant the seeds of change, knowledge, andremembrance by facing our history and tasting the bitterness of slavery, oppression, injustice, and self-hatred. Wetake these emotions, bond with each other like never before, and then, fast-forwarding to the 21st century, we take afull assessment of where we stand today, here in Watts, California. In a circle, with the help of a facilitator, we havetwo-hour jam sessions that make the sweetest music—the sound of thinking people who are awakened fully to thecalling of addressing our communities' problems and creating viable solutions. We are networking and formingalliances to initiate direct action to expedite change.If you look at history, you can see it takes only one person to change an environment—one person who takes a stand,an advocacy, an action. It takes only one person to change the entire world. Once upon a time we were taught here inWatts “Power to the People.” I have lived through that to tell you what I know for sure, and that is People are thePower. And it only takes one—you!Find your true path by preserving your health and your environment. Eat organically and do not smoke. It does notmatter how pretty you are, where you live, how many degrees you have, or what you drive, if you don't start savingthis planet, soon you won't have anywhere to live.
Watts Garden Club
c/o Anna Marie Carter P.O. Box 431312Los Angeles, CA. 90043Watts Garden Club is a Not-for-Profit, Grassroots, NGO.All donations Tax Deductible
We are a "GREEN POWER MOVEMENT"We do not discriminate against anyone, never have and never will! PEACE
Our Founder is Anna Marie Carter aka "The Seed Lady of Watts.