Jamiah Hargins, founding executive director of Crop Swap L.A. (Brian W. Carter/L.A. Sentinel)

Crop Swap L.A. feeds over 70 local families with fresh, organically grown fruits and vegetables.

Nestled in Leimert Park is a home with a beautiful garden full of vegetables and fruit on the front lawn. This garden is providing the community with fresh produce every weekend. This is just one of the gardens Jamiah Hargins has in the community — this is Crop Swap L.A.

Hargins started in 2018 with what was a general get together with crop swappers and became a formal nonprofit in 2022.

“I started it because my first daughter was born and I wanted to have the best food for her and I started growing a garden and had extra that I swapped with other growers in the city,” said Hargins.

Crop Swap L.A. grows food on unused spaces and then sells the produce creating economic sustainability for employees and the community. The nonprofit offers a membership, which is currently feeding over 70 families each week.

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“They harvest every Sunday and deliver to doorsteps that same morning,” said Hargins.

Crop Swap L.A. has multiple sites the first being on Angeles Vista in View Park with the second site in Hyde Park, on 8th Ave. and 50th, behind Crenshaw High School and the third site and headquarters is his home on Degnan and Coliseum.

They grow everything that is seasonal and some of what’s being grown are squashes, green onions, beans, lettuces, brussels sprouts, celery, herbs and tomatoes.

“Crop Swap L.A. feeds seventy families every single week, so it would be about 240 people,” said Hargins.

He shared the response to Crop Swap L.A. has been almost entirely positive as people appreciate receiving fresh food being grown organically nearby, hired and run by their own neighbors.

The produce from Crop Swap L.A. feeds over 70 families each week.  (Brian W. Carter/L.A. Sentinel)

“People love that the variety the food includes things you can’t even find at the grocery store and that the price is reasonable, and we accept EBT when possible so we keep it all hyperlocal,” said Hargins.

Hargins feels like most growing produce locally for the neighborhood is very important and very much needed.

“I think it’s essential,” said Hargins. “We’re growing food from scratch and in a time when we don’t know what’s really in our food in the grocery stores and when the big agricultural system is so strained and pressured and artificially created by subsidies and collective interests.”

He continued, “We as a people need to utilize our unused spaces such as yards and other institutional spaces to create our own equity, our own health and our own sustainability.”

Crop Swap L.A. also offers workshops, the next will be on Saturday, July 6 from 9:00am to 1:00pm, you can register online. They will also be at the Juneteenth Business Expo at Cal State Northridge on Saturday, June 22 and speaking at LA Good Food Scapes at the Degnan headquarters on Wednesday, June 26 between 10AM and 1PM.

“We need your support and if you support any nonprofits or if you support your church or if you support any group consistently, please include Crop Swap L.A. because this is actually tangible and relatable and necessary in the world and we could use your support,” said Hargins.

For more information, visit www.cropswapla.org.