Urban Agriculture
University of California
Urban Agriculture

Master Gardeners Help Los Angeles County Residents Grow their own Food

Cooperative Extension has a wonderful resource that I’d like people to be more aware of: our amazing Master Gardener Volunteers.  We have more than 200 MG volunteers, as we call them. 

The Master Gardener Program officially began in 1978.  We maintained the program on and off over the years, depending on staffing and interest.  By the early 1990s, however, our program in Los Angeles County was inactive.  That is, until Yvonne Savio, coordinator extraordinaire joined our staff in 1995 and immediately restarted the program.  It’s been going strong ever since. 

Master Gardeners participate in extensive training then volunteer with us in a variety of ways, mostly focused on improving food access in low-income communities.  Last year our Master Gardeners reached more than 87,000 people in Los Angeles County, working with community gardens, school gardens and answering calls on our Master Gardener Helpline. 

The Helpline is a free service for Los Angeles County residents.  Anyone can call or email the Helpline with their home gardening questions.  The Master Gardener Helpline is available by phone at (323) 260-3238 or email at mglosangeleshelpline@ucdavis.edu. 

Yvonne and the Master Gardeners have been featured in the media twice in the past week.  The Los Angeles Times ran a story on Victory Gardens on January 10th, and included a mention of how our Master Gardeners have helped to promote food gardening around Los Angeles. The Times article discussed how interest in gardening is cyclical, and that when economic times are difficult, more people garden.  For example, the article mentions that a major seed company experienced a 40% increase in its sale of vegetable and herb seeds in 2007.   You can view the story at www.latimes.com/features/home/la-hm-victory10-2009jan10,0,7167635.story

Our Master Gardener program was also featured on Evan Kleiman’s “Good Food” Show on KCRW on January 10th.  You can listen to the interview with Yvonne at www.kcrw.com/etc/programs/gf/gf090110australian_olive_oil

Learn more about our Los Angeles County Master Gardener Program at this link:  celosangeles.ucdavis.edu/Common_Ground_Garden_Program/

Posted on Saturday, January 17, 2009 at 12:04 PM


Is there someone who would be willing to help with a gardening program at a high school? I have seen beautiful gardening projects at various schools and would love to help start something at the school I work for: Birmingham Community Charter High School.  
My school services a population that lives under the federal poverty level and I think it would be a boon for these kids to learn to grow plants.  

Posted by sandra wignot on September 12, 2015 at 9:31 AM

Hi Sandra,  
I apologize for the slow response! We haven't been posting to this blog lately. You can request assistance from Los Angeles County Master Gardeners by submitting the form at http://celosangeles.ucanr.edu/UC_Master_Gardener_Program/MG_Technical_Assistance_Request_Form/  
Best wishes,  
Rachel Surls

Posted by Rachel A. Surls on December 15, 2015 at 6:58 AM

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