SOIL SUMMIT: An APLD Student Member's Perspective

BY Marcus Teply


I was the lucky winner of the APLD-CA, student scholarship to the Urban Soil Summit. The presentations by LA Compost and Urban Tilth really warmed my heart.

LA Compost’s Michael Martinez “connects people with the soil that feeds us.” His compost hubs throughout Los Angeles County not only create neighborhood centers where residents come together to make compost, they also provide education on how to grow healthy food. This is remarkable, because soil is not necessarily on our minds when it comes to improving urban communities.

Urban Tilth, based in Richmond in the Bay Area, operates five small community farms. They serve as fertile ground for training and employing young people from urban neighborhoods to grow, distribute and cook produce. Executive Director Doria Robinson spoke passionately about the more than 300 enthusiastic urban farmers they have educated over the years and their contribution to more self-sufficient communities.

Turns out when you have good soil, all kinds of things can take root and grow.