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In Memoriam: Ed Mosman – Garden Master of Ocean View Farms

I dedicated my first novel Garden Variety to Ed Mosman, the Garden Master of Ocean View Farms (OVF) organic community garden. Ed, who passed away on February 8, 2024, was the hub around which the wheel turned at OVF.

Ed inspired a character in Garden Variety named Ned Flossman, the fictional garden master of a fictional community garden in Los Angeles. And like Ned, Ed was a real-life character who was synonymous with the joys of gardening.

Ed was the Garden Master at OVF from 1984 – 2024. For 40 years he kept the garden running, and organized workday tasks. He hauled recycled bottles and cans to the collection centers, keep the shredders tuned up, and shared his muscat grape harvest.

He was a magical being who appeared whenever he was most needed, from among the vast expanse of OVF’s 500 plots. One of the most notable things about Ed was his Boston accent. He’d often bring baked beans to workday potlucks (no lie), and always had a smile for anyone who approached. You can hear his delightful accent in this interview I recorded with him in 2013:

Interview with Ed Mosman About the History of OVF – Sept. 2013

You can also watch him in action in this sweet segment of City Walk, a show on PBS that OVF member Steve Reich produced/directed/filmed in our much younger days:

I will always remember our beloved Garden Master for his rusty, cream-colored Ford Falcon station wagon, and his dedication to Ocean View Farms. At the memorial, one of his relatives told me that he had learned how to drive a stick shift in that wagon. Get this: he said you could see asphalt through the rusty floorboards while driving.

Ed’s rusty Ford Falcon lives on in our memories. Yeah, he actually drove that.

On Saturday, March 16, 2024, the OVF community gathered to celebrate Ed’s life. His family was in attendance, and at one point his son Eddie announced that his own granddaughter had gotten engaged in Ed’s garden plot moments before. So, it seems they feel as connected to OVF as Ed was, and forever will be.

Celebration of Ed’s life at Ocean View Farms organic community garden.
Photo board and uniforms from Ed’s military days.
Special plaque to commemorate Ed’s tenure as Garden Master at OVF.

We will continue to remember Ed Mosman for his years of dedication to OVF and his love of gardening. We can all hope to live and garden as long as he did. Ed, you will be missed.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Susan

    A lovely tribute for a lovely man. I am reading Garden Variety right now, and it is so much more special to know that Ned is based on a real person. What a delight he must’ve been! Thank you for sharing Ed with the rest of us through Ned.

    1. Christy

      Thank you, Susan. He really was a delight. I hope you enjoy reading Garden Variety. I’m working on the sequel, too, so Ed lives on in Ned.

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