Seeds of Justice, Seeds of HopeDocument Transcript
Seeds of Justice, Seeds of Hope
In the midst of the toxic atmosphere of Watts, seeds are sprouting, organic gardens are thriving, young people are
discovering a vocation, and healthy, whole foods are becoming part of everyday life.
Anna Marie Carter, "The Seed Lady" of Watts, brings organic food and gardens to the people of South Central Los
If you could imagine a place that has the highest crime rates, the largest drug saturation, the greatest welfare recipient
population, and the fastest HIV-positive infection rates in one of the richest cities, in the richest state, in the richest
country in the entire world, then you could begin to imagine Watts, California—a district in South Central Los
My name is Anna Marie Carter, but I am also known as “The Seed Lady” of Watts. I am a certified Master Gardener
through the University of California. I practice direct action by building free, organic gardens for people who suffer
from HIV/AIDS, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and other illnesses.
My advocacy takes me to drug/alcohol/mental health facilities, community centers, schools, inside of housing
projects, and to shelters that house women who are returning to our community from prison. I teach people how to
grow their own food, organically. But that is not all I teach them.
The environment in Watts is toxic. We are told not to drink the water. The air is polluted, and there is not much rain.
Multi-generational gangs, multiple drug usage, carnal value systems resulting from being institutionalized by the
welfare system for generations, and low morality all add up to no self-esteem, depression, overcrowding, crime, and
escapism through unprotected sex and drugs. Where there seems like there is no hope, there is no reason to be happy
or to act decently or to dream.
External forces dictate here. I have yet to meet a drug addict who harvests his own drugs. There are no coca plants or
poppies growing here. All this madness is imported by the tons to this community—daily!
The health of the community is further jeopardized by the lack of real food. The food available in South Central Los
Angeles is genetically engineered, pesticide-laden, hybridized, and irradiated. The majority of people here eat food
that is bagged, bottled, canned, boxed, or frozen. A majority of this food comes from South America and Mexico
through free trade agreements. We do not even get food grown in California. DDT is still widely used in Latin
There is no access to whole foods here. The highly processed food and low-quality meats affect the health, both
physical and mental, of everyone here.
I had an organic vegetables, seeds, and plants store many years ago on Crenshaw Boulevard. The first day I went to
open the front door and I looked behind me and there stood three little boys, lined up in a row, like they were in the
army. I opened the door and they came in, after saying “Good morning,” and proceeded to take all my plants outside
and set up the organic vegetable and flowers stands for the day. They were sent to me by a higher source.
I taught them many things. We planted tomatoes out back that grew over seven feet tall. The boys sold the tomatoes
and used the money for school clothes and supplies. One even paid his mother's utility bills. They are grown now, but
when I see them they kiss and hug and thank me.
After I graduated as a Master Gardener, I began my internship at the former Watts Family Garden. We lost the battle
to save the garden from sale, so I took my newly formed garden club into the city of Los Angeles' recreation center
inside the Jordan Downs Housing Projects. Here we taught a class called the “Value of a Seed,” taking the children to
the gardens and planting the ingredients that go into pesto, salsa, coleslaw, and other products. We taught the children
how 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 the
Club, we have our own Community Supported Agriculture project (CSA), which provides fresh farm produce to the
invisible populations here, and we operate our own produce stand and farmers' market. We train youth in agricultural
entrepreneurship (which include classes in manners, grooming, hospitality, and vendor education). We teach “The
Value of a Seed” on organic gardening and creating value-added products. Participants in the “Made in Watts” class
make their own bath products for sale to our community. The “Organic Greenhouse” class teaches people to grow
lettuce, herbs, and flowers indoors. The center will soon have a greenhouse in the courtyard. “The Kitchen” covers
vegan and vegetarian cooking. We also hold anti-drug/gang rallies, HIV support groups, and holistic workshops. We
involve the community in garden construction, and we network with other low-income communities of color. We
have 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 is
serving a life sentence in prison. His mother is on drugs and his stepfather is a drug dealer. David is hyperactive and
cannot stop moving his hands. He is asthmatic, uses an inhaler, and takes Ritalin. At 11 years old, he is a prime target
to 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, and
remembrance by facing our history and tasting the bitterness of slavery, oppression, injustice, and self-hatred. We
take these emotions, bond with each other like never before, and then, fast-forwarding to the 21st century, we take a
full assessment of where we stand today, here in Watts, California. In a circle, with the help of a facilitator, we have
two-hour jam sessions that make the sweetest music—the sound of thinking people who are awakened fully to the
calling of addressing our communities' problems and creating viable solutions. We are networking and forming
alliances 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 in
Watts “Power to the People.” I have lived through that to tell you what I know for sure, and that is People are the
Power. 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 not
matter how pretty you are, where you live, how many degrees you have, or what you drive, if you don't start saving
this planet, soon you won't have anywhere to live.
Watts Garden Club
c/o Anna Marie Carter
P.O. Box 431312
Los Angeles, CA. 90043
Watts 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.
2010 is Ms. Carters 35th Anniversary of serving the State of California teaching organic, holistic community.
With many awards over the years, Ms. Carter is especially honored to have received an award from the Dali Lama at
the World Festival of Sacred Music at UCLA.
Her service award was a tray, reminding her to continue to serve the people.
Starting the Watts Garden Club and then advancing to the Zenzale Projects, Ms. Carter will be retiring in less than 24
As a retired, disabled, senior citizen, Ms. Carter wishes to realize her dream of "Ghetto Organics in the Organic
Turning down an offer of 10 Billion dollars a year from the Peoples Republic of China to "sell out", give up her name,
product lines, likeness, soul and spirit, Ms. Carter is determined to create healthy, natural products "In the 'Hood, For
the 'Hood, By the 'Hood".
"If I can give everyone on my block a job, to create products that we use that are healthy, I will be successful in
creating a better community, where I live, breathe and sleep!
That's what I call "Blooming where you are planted!
I am looking for interested green job trainees in Detroit, Watts, West/East Oakland, and South Los Angeles who
believe we can create holistic products, green jobs and organic community all at the same time!
This is our time NOW!"
In our fundraising products section, you will find new exciting healthy products designed just for you!
Each product employs someone that is considered "unemployable".
50 percent of sales are donated directly to the Zenzale Projects that feed people in the 'hood, create more products and
our main objective - SAVING SEEDS!
Real food for real people - heirloom, organic seeds for our gardens, and for our future ancestors to experience REAL
As a response to the People of the United States Of America, who contact us daily horrified at what they are learning
about our food supply being contaminated by "Bio-Tech" companies, we say "Stop staring into the "screens", go outside and start growing more of your own food organically!"
YOU CAN MAKE THE CHANGE NOW!
Take responsibility for your own organic nutrition and stop blaming "Bio-Tech" for your obesity, hypertension,
depression, and hunger!
Get your neighbors to grow food and share it with one another! Involve the seniors and children on your block.
Create small CSA's and Farmers' Markets. Cook together, eat together, share!
Become active by SAVING SEEDS EVERYDAY!
The average person throws away over 100 seeds a day!
SAVING SEEDS, then planting seeds to make more seeds is your key to greatness and freedom.
Practice self-liberation! Teach yourself how to do what needs to be done - READ, GO ONLINE, ASK
Stop crying about what "Bio-Tech" is doing and start doing something to save yourself NOW!
Your lack of involvement in the Organic Movement is what is creating "Bio-Tech".
YOU ARE THE PROBLEM! You keep eating their food!
So, stop crying and become a "soulutionary"!
YOU ARE THE SOULUTION!
No more tears, period! People are the Power!
We currently have 15 projects around the World. All tax-deductible donations are excepted by the Village Health
Foundation c/o Watts Garden Club.
1. Grandma's Hands - 12th year.
We deliver food from local organic artisan bakers, farmers fruit and food from local farmers' markets to
Grandmothers who feed their children’s children in and around the City of Los Angeles Housing projects in Watts, a
district in South Los Angeles. To the Grandmothers it is a huge blessing and the children get proper nutrition.
We need trucks and gas.
2. Organic Gardening Projects in the Nickerson Garden Housing Projects.
Our students trained at the Watts Garden Club, assist their neighbors on Saturday mornings for 2 hours on how to
start and maintain their tiny garden plots outside their front and back doors. Bring organic nutrition to their fingertips
and creating oxygen in an extremely polluted area of Los Angeles!
We need stipends for Student Workers.
3. Organic Gardening Projects in the Jordan Down Housing Projects.
4. Organic Gardening Projects in the Avalon Garden Housing Projects.
5. The Secret Healing Garden at Permaculture West.
We now have a propagation facility in West Los Angeles. We need funding to teach permaculture courses to teachers
that will be willing to go into the inner-city to help the children and adults learn how to grow more of their own food
6. Browns Eagle Ranch - Texas..
We have been blessed with a donation of an 87 acre ranch in Texas. We plan to build an organic ranch for children
from all over the world to come experience rural life with learning about science, organic agriculture and physical
We need tractors, irrigation systems. and housing to get started.
7. B & B Farm in Mississippi.
25 acres of land donated by Mr. Ben Burkett of Petal, Mississippi. We plan on growing organic herbs, flowers and
seeds for our value-added product lines. WE START PLANTING MAY 15th!
All Funds have been secured for this project.
8. Science Lab at Central High School - LAUSD We are developing a lab to investigate all junk food sold in our community for gmo's, toxins, contaminates, pesticides
and other toxic substances so we can report our results on our website to the World. Goal is to try to create more
scientists from the inner-cities, while giving people 21st Century knowledge about what they are eating!
We need money for analysis and equipment. Also, for field trips and stipends for student that do extra work!
9. Village Health Foundation –
Our fiscal sponsor wishes to expand the Alternative Health Care Clinic to include Western Medicine, and to add two
mobile health units to service our community. We will be joining the Village Health Foundation in the future by
adding Ayurevedic Medicine practitioners from the Watts Garden Club.
Large cash donations are needed.
10. Nino Y Ninas –
Our first year of educating other low-income communities of color, outside of Watts, with populations of Caucasian,
Hispanic and Asian was at Chico Y Chicas in Highland Park. They were really shocked to see African-Americans
with organic classes, produce, plants and soil. They encouraged their children to come and learn and we loved getting
to know everyone! We believe we left them with a good impression about "Watts".
We wish to move to another primarily mixed low-income community of color in Southern California to teach more
classes - Let us know if your community is interested.
11. Ghana Project –
This project is very sensitive. We have interns there teaching women how to make organic products and how to take
them to market.
*UPDATE: ONE OF OUR INTERNS HAS RETURNED HOME WITH GOOD NEWS FROM OUR
HOMELAND! WE PLAN TO RETURN TO NETWORK IN OR AROUND DECEMBER!
Funds needed for our Interns expenses.
12. South Central Farmers Collaboration -.
While City of Los Angeles City officials tried to "divide and conquer" us, when the farmers where being kicked of the
14 acres on Alameda, we formed an unbreakable bond. Watts Garden Club provided community security for the
farmers with safe passage to and from all of our farmers markets.
In addition, Our founder Ms. Carter worked side by side at our farmers' markets cooking and promoting the South
Central Farmers produce to help them raise both organic awareness and financial income so that they could become
sustainable and expand.
85 acres are now donated to the South Central Farmers to grow even more food organically.
We join them in fundraising, plan to sharecrop with them and raise awareness to everyone to help to clear the land
and buy water pumps for their wells to irrigate the land. HELP US! These people feed us!
Funds for tractors, water pumps, labor/clearing of the land, planting, trucks!
*UPDATE - THE SOUTH CENTRAL FARMERS HAVE THE WELL FLOWING !! BLESSING FROM ABOVE!
WE LOOK FORWARD TO SHARECROPPING VERY SOON!
13. Seed Banks –
We are building heirloom, organic, originator seed banks for our future ancestors to know what real food from the
21st Century is. Nobody is saving seeds for the people. We have to do it for ourselves! HELP US!
Donate seeds, save seeds, share seeds!
Funds for fire-proof containers and stipends for students who archive seeds.
14. Brooks Family Farm -.
Cuba, Alabama. Trial 2 acre farm in 2010 specializing in organic beans. The beans that we sell online next year will
come from this farm.
Funds for tractors, field labor at harvest.
15. Watts Garden/Mudtown Farms Project –
We got our garden back! After 10 years of fighting, The Watts Garden is BACK! Thanks to the leadership of Tim
and Janine Watkins of WLCAC and the Community of Watts, Micheal Ableman and our Seed Lady - WE WON the
battle to SAVE OUR GARDEN!
Many California Growers are donating beautiful flowers to celebrate the rebirth by donating to the Watts Garden Club
so we can build a BEAUTIFUL children's garden!
Any volunteers to join us in planting "Seeds of Justice, Seeds of Hope"?
We pray to God to help us, give us strength and encourage everyone to help us to help ourselves! Together we RISE!
CLASSES at Watts Garden Club
Your Local FOOD BANK Needs You
Please help. Thank YOU!
Organic Gardening for VICTORY
Growing Without Digging; by Esther Deans
Square Foot Gardening; by Mel Bartholomew
How to Grow World Record Tomatoes; by Charles Wilber
Lasagna Gardening for Small Spaces; by Patricia Lanza
Edible Flower Garden; by Rosalind Creasy
Designing And Maintaining Your Edible Landscape Naturally; by Robert Kourik
The One-Straw Revolution: An Introduction to Natural Farming; by Masanobu Fukuoka
Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World; by Paul Stamets
Leaves of Life, Therapy Garden for People with Disabilities; by Esther Deans
Worms Eat My Garbage; by Mary Appelhof
SWAP your Books with Other People
Swap Books.com Swap Books/d
400% increase in Plant Growth
Food not Lawns
worldcat librarything books.google
GOOD FOOD is GOOD MEDICINE
<> Garbage in, garbage out.
Why be Sick?
eat Local Fresh Organic food
A good person leaves an inheritance to their children’s children.
What kind of inheritance are you leaving?