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The Deal: Cookbook sells fresh flowers from North Hollywood High garden

October 5, 2010 |  6:08 am


Marta Teegan and Robert Stelzner wanted to sell locally grown, organic flowers at Cookbook, their new green grocer in Echo Park. Then Teegan's friend Lora Hall, a volunteer at North Hollywood High School's 7-acre garden, "put two and two together."

"I approached the teacher about it and she was willing to sell flowers," Hall said, adding that the school had been selling blooms at the Hollywood Farmers Market.

The students at Los Angeles Unified School District's largest garden began cutting flowers and arranging them for Hall, who is dropping them off at Cookbook every Wednesday.

Sunflowers The flowers will vary by season, but currently you can get a bundle of freshly cut dahlias, roses, rosemary, lavender and amaranth for just $5. Half of each sale will go to the school garden. 

Their first batch of flowers generated $36. "The teacher was so excited," Hall said. "She said, 'We can get bales of hay with that!' "

People are definitely into the idea, Teegan said in an interview last week.

"The flowers are beautiful. And because we are a food market, they have been incorporating edibles into the arrangements," she said. "This week we have amaranth. As soon as people hear where they came from, they want to support it." 

And for the students? Said Hall: "These kids understand how exciting it is not to be sitting at a desk."

Cookbook, 1549 Echo Park Ave., Los Angeles, is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily; Teegan said the flowers are usually dropped off in the late afternoon.

-- Lisa Boone

Photo, top: The student-grown flowers in Cookbook. Credit: Marta Teegan.

Photo, bottom: The North Hollywood school garden in the summer of 2008. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times