Pop your head into yards in Altadena and there’s no telling what you’ll find. Sunday, Altadena Heritage held its Golden Poppy Awards Sunday at the home of Kazi Petelka and John Steinmetz, on Mar Vista. And in their yard you’ll find a few dozen chickens among the crops of fruit and vegetables. Part orchard and part farm, this urban spread is what people mean when they say “urban farm.” Pumpkins are even growing on the roof.

Kazi, a first violist with the L.A. Opera, gave teaching tours of the property to dozens of eager students drooling over the packed avocado trees. I was sorry to learn she offs the poor squirrel who gets in her way, but we all have our own karma to deal with said my unusually understanding pal, who has been known to keep an orphaned baby squirrel warm in her bra until she could get it to a rescue center.  Farming is a sometimes brutal business.

I’d say about 100 Altadenans enjoyed the cooler early evening atmosphere, grateful the event was moved back from 4 p.m. when all would have wilted.

Four residents were chosen to receive the Golden Poppy Award, this year given to those with sustainable gardens. Chair Mark Goldschmidt explained the new criteria, which also resulted in an $11,000 grant from Edison to promote sustainability. Mark also presented the awards. I was unable to get all the names, but I’m attaching a number of photos. One couple, Jennifer and Ham, live just down the street from me. They’re the ones with the farm in their front yard that I’ve been meaning to visit. So now we’ve met. I’ll be getting down to see their yard up close very soon.

Patrick Reagan was out touting the benefits of having a co-op in Altadena. And in gardening spirit, bags of iris rhizomes were out for the sharing. Richard Davies promised a major event in late October at the Mosoleum, so stay tuned. Hoping it doesn’t involve the dead, being so near Halloween.

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