Urban Agriculture - vertical veggies to sprout on L.A.'s Skid Row

Some Cal Poly students and staff have their minds set on growing 4,000 fruit and vegetable plants in the concrete jungle of Los Angeles - on the walls of four downtown buildings.

They helped load trucks last week with panels of plants that they made and plan to mount.

The group hopes the so-called "edible walls" will benefit many homeless and low-income residents in housing complexes in the city’s Skid Row area and at Miguel Contreras Learning Complex, a downtown high school.

The method of farming on walls addresses the lack of space in the urban area; the sideways-resting planters span 30 feet across.

The project installed just over a week ago is a collaboration between the university and the nonprofit group Urban Farming, which has helped start rooftop and community gardens in cities such as New York, Detroit and St. Louis, as well as abroad.

"Knowing where the food is going is the most rewarding thing," said Hunter Francis, a Cal Poly co-coordinator. “People in the inner city will see how food is grown and get to enjoy it.”

Read the complete story at