Planting has begun at Great Park in Irvine, CA located at the old El Toro airbase, which occupied the land from 1942 through 1999. Prior to the base opening in 1942, farmers grew lima beans and grain crops on the fertile land. Now as part of a $65 million construction plan, this $1.4 million project will return the land to its roots. The park will include a 100 acre working farm designed to provide fresh, locally grown organic produce to the public and to area food banks. A community garden and farmers market are also planned.
A glimmer of Great Park emerged last year, when a 2 acre parcel was dedicated to a farm and food lab project which was welcomed by the community. Master farmers from the University of California hosted workshops and created themed gardens. Now as the former military base is undergoing its large scale “reawakening”, the fields are being planted with barley to strengthen the soil in preparation for future crops and the farmers market should be operating within a year.