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Mooi in Echo Park to host Community Supported Agriculture on Tuesdays

August 10, 2010 |  2:29 pm

Stephen Hauptfuhr, the chef/owner of the new Echo Park raw retreat called Mooi, has long expressed an interest in community gardening and re-appropriating unused public land for such programs. Now he's working to realize some of his goals by using Mooi as a pickup spot for a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.

The CSA will be at Mooi every Tuesday from 3 to 5 p.m., beginning Aug. 17. Here's how it works: The CSA gathers up bags of local produce--that is both seasonal and organic--from participating farms and sells them for $25 per bag at Mooi. You must sign up and pay for your bag in advance, which allows the CSA to know how much produce to procure. You can sign up for one bag per week or a bag every other week. $2 from each bag goes to benefit school gardening programs.

This week's bag contains: plums, nectarines, peaches, red leaf or romaine lettuce, broccoli, bell peppers, celery, green beans, cabbage, tomatoes and kale.

Hauptfuhr sees the CSA as the starting place for a larger, community-inspired plan. His ideas include using Mooi's basement for classes and seminars to help people understand where their food actually comes from. He'd also like to use community gardens as an extension of the learning process, so individuals can have their own small plot of land to practice with. The idea is that people will understand the importance of organic, fresh food if they grow it themselves and take it home to eat.

Mooi, 1700 W. Sunset Blvd., L.A. (213) 413-1100; www.mooifood.com. Click herefor the CSA sign-up sheet.

--Jessica Gelt

Photo: Joy Conrad-Mogin, 4, helps plant squash in a garden in the front yard of her parents' Larchmont Village home in Los Angeles. Theirs is one of five houses where gardens will be planted to be used to create a shared harvest, an urban version of a program called Community Supported Agriculture. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times