Giada and Mary

Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis with OVF member Mary Weybright

Giada planting

Giada and friends plant seeds at OVF

What's New at OVF

2021 OVF Board Election Results

April 11, 2021

Ocean View Farms had a record turn out this year with almost 200 members submitting pandemic mandated online ballots.

Thank you to everyone that voted and especially to those that ran for one of the positions. A very warm welcom to new OVF board members Donn Hoffman, Mary Harrison and Tanya Brokaw.

Below are the results of the 2021 elections.

Indicates winner. Number of votes listed for contested positions only.


  • Vice-president
    • Donn Hoffman (Ran unopposed)
  • Garden Master
    • Les Hairrell - 88
    • Ed Mosman * - 104
  • Membership Secretary
    • Mary Harrison (Ran unopposed)
  • Independent Project Monitor
    • Tanya Brokaw - 103
    • Ed Callahan - 18
    • Judith Deutsch - 44
  • Upper Phase I Phase Representative
    • Andrew Sacks (Ran unopposed)
  • Upper Phase II Phase Representative
    • Marie Green * - 21
    • Joseph Schlitt - 9
  • Upper Phase III Phase Representative
    • Lora Cain - 11
    • Ron Fine * - 28
  • Upper Phase IV Phase Representative
    • Steven Reich * (Ran unopposed)

* Indicates incumbent


2021 OVF Board Elections - Starting Monday, April 5th

March 31, 2021

Once again, due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, OVF will hold its annual Board of Director elections this year via online voting.  Voting will run from 8:00 AM on Monday, April 5, 2021 until 8:00 PM on Saturday, April 10, 2021. 

Return to the OVF website, during the voting window and login to your OVF My Account to vote! One vote per membership.

The slate and candiates are listed below. If more than one person is running for a position, names are listed in alphabetical order.  

All candidates were offered a chance to submit a statement to appear here.  Those that did are listed below the slate.  

  • Vice-president
    • Donn Hoffman
  • Garden Master
    • Les Hairrell
    • Ed Mosman *
  • Membership Secretary
    • Mary Harrison
  • Independent Project Monitor
    • Tanya Brokaw
    • Ed Callahan
    • Judith Deutsch
  • Upper Phase I Phase Representative
    • Andrew Sacks
  • Upper Phase II Phase Representative
    • Marie Green *
    • Joseph Schlitt
  • Upper Phase III Phase Representative
    • Lora Cain
    • Ron Fine *
  • Upper Phase IV Phase Representative
    • Steven Reich *

* Indicates incumbent

Members may only vote for the phase representative who are on the ballot for the member's phase.  

Members without an OVF My Account may vote for each position they are eligible to vote for by submitting a letter via USPS, postmatked no later than Friday, April 9, 2021 to: OVF Elections; PO Box 66534; Los Angeles, CA 90066.


Candidate Statements

Les Hairrell: Candidate for Garden Master

Hello OVF,

I am running for Garden Master because I believe that change for the better is possible at OVF, and I would like to be part of that change.  The garden would benefit from a fresh perspective that focuses on creative solutions.  I am running in this election to make OVF a better place for us all.

My Qualifications to be Garden Master.

I’m a retired attorney and second career garden designer.  I’ve been gardening for over twenty years and have the following qualifications:

  • UC Master Gardener;

  • UC Certified California Naturalist;

  • UC Davis Master Beekeeper;

  • UCLA Landscape Architecture Extension Program graduate;

  • UCLA Horticulture Extension Program graduate;

  • Sierra Club Wilderness Training Course graduate;

  • Huntington Full Garden Docent;

  • Seed to Plate School Garden Board Member; and

  • OVF 2019 Tomato Tasting, 1st Place for my Green Zebra.

I am a devoted gardener, who lives within walking distance of OVF and visits the garden 3 or 4 days a week.  I have invested substantial time and effort gardening at OVF—I grow everything from seed, except for a few plants purchased from OVF plant sales.  I garden one plot, N6B, and one flower IP, #56, and I built raised beds and drip irrigation in both.  I was scheduled to teach a class on drip irrigation at OVF last year, but it was cancelled due to the pandemic.   

I’m the Phase Representative for Phase 1 Lower, the largest phase in the garden.  I have spent countless hours discussing the garden with other members, making motions before the Board, giving orientations, writing memoranda to the Phase, explaining the rules, answering questions and resolving issues.  I am fully committed to spending the time needed to fulfill the duties of Garden Master.  I believe in community gardens and want OVF to grow and improve in every way possible.  

My Work on the OVF Board and as 1L Phase Rep.

As an OVF Board member, I created the Covid Sabbatical Program in response to the Covid pandemic.  The Program provides a new sabbatical option for members who did not feel comfortable coming to the garden during the pandemic.  The OVF Board approved this Program for 2020 and renewed it for 2021.  I also successfully moved the OVF Board to ban the invasive weed wild fennel from OVF.  A summary of my research paper presented to the Board explaining the adverse effects of wild fennel can be found in the October 2020 OVF Newsletter.  As Garden Master, I will strive to bring new solutions before the Board and urge the Board to take an open-minded approach to the administration of OVF.

Before I became Phase Rep, members had complained about unequal, erratic and unfair enforcement of the OVF rules.  As 1L Phase Rep, I have advocated for equal and impartial enforcement.  I have tried very hard to do away with bias and favoritism in the Phase Rep role and to apply the rules uniformly to everyone in a transparent manner.  

As Phase Rep, I have worked to come up with new solutions to old problems.  For example, when a new member receives a plot, they used to take it ‘as is.’  Since the departing member typically left a mess, the new member was faced with a daunting challenge.  With the OVF rules giving the member two weeks to weed and plant, it was a recipe for failure.  To confront this problem, I developed a new program: when a member leaves a plot, the plot is now cleared and weeded by other members before the new member arrives.  In this way, the new member gets off to a good start, the current members receive community hours, and the new member failure rate declines.  I started this program during the pandemic when members were looking for ways to earn hours, but it has proven to be very popular and has been adopted in other Phases.  

My Goals and Objectives as Garden Master.

If elected Garden Master, I would survey members to identify their concerns and to explore possible solutions.  As I’ve been walking around speaking with members about their issues, a common set of recurring problems have been raised:

Plumbing, hoses and wheelbarrows.  Some problems are predictable and the solutions require an investment.  Putting band aids on the same predictable and repeated problems doesn’t move us forward.  If I become Garden Master, I will propose we invest in the garden’s infrastructure and find permanent solutions to recurring problems.  

Rodents and Pests.  The pest problem is chronic and has gotten worse.  Last year, the Garden Master went over the “pest control” budget and spent $1192.  99% of that money was spent on cat food.  Only $11 was spent on anything else.  Perhaps in the past the cats were a sufficient control, but not anymore.  I will take a new approach to pest management and seek permanent solutions to this perpetual problem.

Theft and Security.  Theft is a continual problem that the Garden Master should be leading the effort to resolve.  As Garden Master, I cannot promise to stop all theft, but I will not ignore the problem.  I will aggressively seek new options and member input in finding solutions.

Harassment.  As Garden Master, I will not let members be threatened, harassed or put at risk by another member.  I will not ignore member concerns and complaints, especially regarding people to whom the Garden Master has assigned responsibilities.  We should not tolerate a toxic environment at OVF.  

Bias and Favoritism.  As Garden Master, I will not exempt any member from the rules we all must follow.  I will not make deals with or protect those who abuse or threaten OVF or its members.  I will work to create a garden that is a fair and just place for everyone, where everyone can garden their plots in peace, and where problems and issues are addressed in an open, fair and equitable manner.

A Bright Future Is Possible.

The last year of pandemic has been hard on all of us and OVF.  As we come out of the lock down, we have a chance to bring OVF back better than it was before the pandemic.  We can address the long-term problems with creativity and passion.  

Finally, I wish to make clear my personal admiration and respect for Ed, who has served as Garden Master for over twenty years.  He deserves our grateful thanks for his history of commitment to OVF.  I hope Ed will continue to do what he enjoys at the garden, and that he will let us continue to benefit from his experience and wisdom.  I ask for your vote for Garden Master because I believe that I can make a difference at the garden, and hope Ed will join me in making the OVF garden community an even better place in the future.  

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Ed Mosman: Candidate for Garden Master

Hi fellow OVF members.

I am Ed Mosman running for the Garden Master position.

I have acquired many Service representatives and Hardware stores over the years in keeping OVF functioning. 

The Garden Master job requires a large amount of  members who need to be coordinated into work groups. I have installed most of these work groups

I get great satisfaction in meeting these members and have formed long lasting friendship with many of them.

I especially enjoy meeting new members coming into the garden and when I ask them how long they have waited they usually state 4 years! And I tell them you will find the wait is worth it.

Thanks to all you members that have supported me over the years.

Tanya Brokow: Candidate for Independent Project Monitor

Hello OVF Gardeners!

I am asking for your vote for OVF Independent Projects Monitor.

Independent Projects at OVF are "tree plots" which surround the garden and "flower plots" throughout the garden.

"Tree plot" gardeners are responsible to maintain the existing trees, keeping them healthy and  productive. "Flower plot" gardeners grow blooms for beauty and to provide for pollinators,  which then help us grow more veggies! 

As Independent Project Monitor, I will help gardeners with issues of watering, feeding, and  pruning, in co-ordination with the Orchard Supervisor. I hope to learn more about organic tree  care, and share this with members, I have attended tree care workshops at LA Arboretum, Tree  People, and UC Riverside Citrus.  

With input from OVF gardeners, I would like to create a reference list of flowering plants which  are easy to grow at OVF, and hopefully, start a flower propagation and seed sharing program. 

I will communicate with each Independent Project gardener clearly and respectfully, and be  mindful of gardener’s concerns. OVF members who do not currently garden an Independent  Project, but who are interested, or just have questions about Independent Projects can always  contact me as well. 

In the past I have served as co-ordinator of Tomatobration, as co-ordinator of Summer  Preserving workshops with Rachel Narins, a Master Preserver, and as Phase Rep of LP1. If elected I look forward to helping gardeners care for our OVF Independent Projects. 

Thank you! 


Judith Deutsch: Candidate for Independent Project Monitor

I have been a gardener at OVF for 35 years and was the Hilltop Neighbors Association President, then their liaison between Ocean View Farms and the North Venice Little League.  I finally mediated the problems between OVF and its Hilltop neighbors, so that we did not lose OVF to a lawsuit.  My father was the OVF Treasurer for years.

I had an Independent Project at OVF, saving an orange tree that had been left to mold and was producing tiny, sour oranges.  Today it is a healthy tree, and I gave it up so another gardener can enjoy its riches.  I have a working knowledge of Independent Projects. 

I love and respect nature and have written numerous articles for the Audubon Society’s newsletter highlighting experiences at, and including photos of, OVF.  I am about to write another article.  I have also written about OVF in the Subaru Magazine, and Westways Magazine for the AAA.


Mary Harrison: Candidate for Membership Secretary

After a 5 year stint on the waiting list, I joined OVF in October 2019.  I happily garden at L1C1; my OVF garden has literally and figuratively sustained me during the past pandemic year.  I am running for Membership Secretary because:
- I appreciate the OVF Community, and I want to participate in supporting and enriching it.
- I have worked in accounting/bookkeeping/business management for over 30 years and have an aptitude for organization.
- I welcome the opportunity to be a gateway for welcoming new members into our community.


Andrew Sacks: Candidate for Upper Phase I Phase Representative

Hey my phase 1 upper fellow gardeners,

I am running for phase rep again.  I enjoy being around other friendly gardeners who love playing and growing things in the dirt just like I do.  

We are so lucky to be a community at Ocean View Farms.  I miss being able to give my big smile to everyone, but I hope you can see my happy eyes look that I have been practicing with the mask on.  Thank you for the last 15 years of friendship.  


Marie Green: Candidate for Upper Phase II Phase Representative

I was appointed as Phase rep for upper 2 in February 2020 when Pamela returned to school. It was a new experience for me-  I had never been a phase rep before. I've spent a lot of time walking the rows of upper phase 2. I've met quite a few of you and enjoyed talking and visiting with you. We have welcomed 7 new members to our phase- it was great orientating these new members and acclimating them to our OVF community and sharing their enthusiasm!

OVF elections are coming up and I've decided to run for upper 2 phase rep. I look forward to continuing working and representing you at the board meetings. I will continue to work with all of you to keep our phase as beautiful and well groomed as it is- and I'm asking for your continued support.


Joseph Schlitt: Candidate for Upper Phase II Phase Representative

Hello folks my name is Joseph Schlitt, and I'm running for the upper phase 2 phase rep position. I won't bore you with a lot of details about myself, only to ask you some questions.

1. Do you desire for ovf to become more of a community-minded garden?

2. Would you like communications with board members to be more congenial,and that treat you with dignity and respect?

3. Do you desire to have ovf be more compassionate in terms of the elderly, people with disabilities, and or other life difficulties in terms of the communications brought to you. Also to be compliant with ADA laws protected by the Constitution of the United States?

Would your concerns to be honestly heard by the board of Ocean view farms, and taken seriously and not to be discounted?

Do you desire ovf to be a place for you to escape the stress and problems of everyday life, and not come fearing that your performance of as a gardener, is lacking by the view of a few; and needs to be criticized.

If you answer yes to these questions then I would be happy to serve upper phase 2, and work for these badly needed goals. Thank you.


Lora Cain: Candidate for Upper Phase III Phase Representative

Hello to my fellow OVF gardeners. I'm running for Upper 3 Phase Rep. Although my plot is in Lower 1, 

I'm very familiar with Upper 3 and many of the south end plots because of my volunteer work during  the shutdown.  There were weeds of 5 feet and over blocking some of the aisles and paths so I took a shovel  to them and didn't ask for hours.  I was often joined by other gardeners who also wanted to clear the way for the wheel barrows that would come with returning members and met some of the folks in Upper 3 too. 

It's one of the many reasons I love Ocean View Farms.  So many people pitch in to keep OVF up and  running in any way they can and I wanted to do more.  

I became Arbitration Coordinator so that members who had been terminated and their Phase Reps would feel that they  had a fair hearing in front of well informed Arbitrators. I'm ready to do more now as a Phase Rep myself for Upper 3. 

After a 5 year wait, I've had my plot for 6 years in which I was a regular volunteer for the Sunday OVF Donates program. 

I've talked to many gardeners about supporting this very worthwhile service with the overages from their plots. I've also helped many members as a garden angel and feel that I could be a support to all the people in Upper 3. 

The garden angel program in Lower 1 is a wonderful way to clear plots for new members and for gardeners to help other  gardeners who need more support.  I'd like to implement more of that program and also organize a group of mentors  with more experience in the garden that can be available to newer members.  I have a background as a self help author  and believe that I can be an effective communicator that will listen to Upper 3 gardeners and respond to any issues they  have. I think that I can make Upper 3 an even better phase in which to garden and will help OVF move into a continuing  productive and fulfilling future. 

Ron Fine: Candidate for Upper Phase III Phase Representative

I think Upper Phase 3 members know me. I have been a phase rep for about 10 years and I have enrolled many current members. This year, because of Covid, those of us who are up for election have the opportunity to share a written statement so here is

As a member of the Board of Directors and the Phase Rep for Upper Phase 3, I see my job as one of helping the members in my phase be successful and happy garden members of this wonderful garden community. The word "community" is key to this goal. The garden is much more than simply a place to dig in the dirt. It is an amazing community of people who love being here and enjoy the opportunity to come together with other garden member to experience the benefits offered in this beautiful location.

And like the community outside the garden, our garden community is comprised of members who are young and old, and from many different social, cultural and economic back grounds. I am certain that we would not all agree on everything but finding a place like OVF where you can come and simply enjoy the garden and your friends and escape the outside world is something to be truly treasured. One of my main goals, as a member of the Board, is to ensure this attitude of acceptance and tolerance which makes OVF such a special community remains strong. I will continue to treat everyone
with respect for who they are and with the understanding that no one wants to be hassled or threatened.

If you think I've done a good job as your Phase Representative I hope you will take the time to vote for me again for Upper Phase 3 Representative. And, as always, if you have any questions or comments please feel free to email me or call me anytime.

Thank for your time and your vote.


Steven Reich: Candidate for Upper Phase IV Phase Representative

It’s been a pleasure serving as your phase rep and I’d love the opportunity to serve again. I remain dedicated to maintaining a fun, friendly and fruitful gardening experience for everyone. Thanks so much for your support.


New Seed Starting Video

April 6, 2013

Our Greenhouse Keeper Nina Rumely and Phase III member Fred Finney have combined to create a wonderful video on seed starting. Watch it here.

Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions