A peek through the fence: Water festival in Northwest Pasadena on Saturday

A peek through the fence reveals a series of raised vegetable beds in fall mode, empty except for the occasional pepper hanging on to what is left of summer. What the glimpse doesn't disclose — at least not on a weekday afternoon in November — is that this plot of land has become synonymous with community building. Situated on an intersection in Northwest Pasadena once dubbed Blood Corner, the garden draws neighbors and volunteers from all parts of town together for yard work and weekend events.

"Creating a safe and peaceful space": The Farmer's Yard
The idea for a community garden at the corner of Howard and Navarro goes back to 2011, when a ministry across the street, the Harambee Christian Family Center, began leasing the land from the City.  The project took off earlier this year after the Northwest Pasadena Community Garden Coalition promised to turn the space into an edible garden that would improve the health and well-being of the residents in the 12 blocks surrounding it and serve as a hub for children to explore nature. The Farmer's Yard, as the community garden is now called, was born.

According to its website, The Farmer's Yard operates "in the spirit of self-reliance and sustainable models" and without monetary support from any agency or institution. It hosts a weekly art and science program for neighborhood children, has organized a Butterfly Fair and a Wiggly Worm Fair and offered two earthquake safety workshops. Lydia Breen, one of the driving forces behind The Farmer's Yard, recently said about the project: "I believe we are unusual in that we are more than a community garden. We are neighbors, collaborating within a hyperlocal area to create a safe and peaceful space that will serve as a model for sustainability and resilience in the face of economic, societal and environmental pressures."

From "Blood Corner" to community building: Announcing the neighborhood festival
On Saturday, The Farmer's Yard is cosponsoring a neighborhood festival, Wonderful Water (together with The Trailer Trash Project.) Children’s activities range from making a worm tunnel and seeing river creatures under a microscope to a spoken word workshop with the Kenyan poet Minda Magero. Happenings for everyone include presentations on the L.A. River, on edible California native plants and on water reclamation for gardens.

- - - - - - - - - - -

What: Wonderful Water, A Neighborhood Festival (free)
When: Saturday, November 15, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Where: 138 W Howard St