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Urban farmers in LA grow own fruits, veggies

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Several neighborhoods in Los Angeles are embracing a back-to-the-farm way of life. With grocery prices on the rise, some of these city farmers are not only saving money, but having fun too.

Whether it's growing a pot of herbs in your apartment window or maintaining a full-fledged chicken farm, farming in the city is really catching on.

You can have fresh eggs from your own chickens and ducks, ripe apples and greens ready to be served all from your own yard.

In the heart of Los Angeles, there's a growing community of city dwellers who practice self-sufficient living, also known as "urban homesteading."

"We have over 15 fruit trees in our little backyard, and you can have a lot of fruit trees if you keep them small," said Kelly Coyne.

Coyne and Erik Knutzen are the authors of "The Urban Homestead" and "Making It," which are two do-it-yourself guide books encouraging people to get back to basics, such as growing and preserving your own food and replacing your lawn with fruit trees and vegetables that are both beautiful and edible.

"This is common sense. People here in L.A. used to have chickens and vegetable gardens in the old days, and that's coming back," said Knutzen.

Their little bungalow sits on just 1/12 of an acre lot, where they keep bees for organic honey and make homemade beer from freshly grown hops.

"I think it builds healthier households and healthier communities, too. We have a community of people who are empowered to do things themselves," said Knutzen.

David Kahn is an architect by trade, but he's taken the "backyard farmer" to another level, creating the Edendale Farm in the front yard of his half-acre home.

"Right now we are about a little less than 50 chickens. We have 10 ducks. We also have pigeon," said Kahn.

Edendale Farm is also an educational center, where neighbors and visitors can learn about growing and selling eggs, harnessing natural energy and more.

"We teach cooking, we teach composting and everything that has to do with growing food naturally," Kahn said.

The urban farmers want to remind everyone that the time to plant in Southern California is now - the fall season. You harvest many fruits and vegetables in the spring.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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