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Harvesting San Francisco's Victory Garden

Harvesting San Francisco's Victory Garden

Last week I went to City Hall to help harvest the Slow Food Victory Garden. Developed as a solution to food shortages during World War I and II, victory gardens not only supply vegetables, fruit, and herbs to the masses, but they also act as a morale booster during tough times. Today Slow Food has partnered with San Francisco to showcase the spirit and power of the public victory garden. The victory of these gardens, however, is to reduce the food miles normally associated with the average American meal and promote homegrown local produce. Every Thursday a group of volunteers meets to harvest the vegetables. Arranged in a stunning concentric design, the garden provides food and illustrates the pure beauty of such vegetables as red chard and squash blossoms. While I picked bunches of collard greens and washed heads of lettuce, I couldn't help but think how vegetables are as gorgeous and colorful as flowers.


The Victory Garden is planted in front of San Francisco's City Hall.

Upon entering, there is a sign that describes the motto of the garden.

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Anyone can walk through the garden and take a rest on one of the hay benches.

Do you have a garden? Have you ever been a part of a large-scale harvest? While you may not be able to experience this victory garden's harvest firsthand, you can take a look at my gallery filled with images. To do so,

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The Victory Garden is planted in front of San Francisco's City Hall.

Upon entering, there is a sign that describes the motto of the garden.

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Anyone can walk through the garden and take a rest on one of the hay benches.

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Fresh basil!

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All of the signs are written in Spanish, English, and Chinese.

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Wild flowers were planted to attract bugs that pollinate the vegetables.

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The start of my collard green harvest.

Kelsey, the garden educator teaches me how to harvest.

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Rubber bands for bunching together stems of greens.

The gardens are designed in a circular patter.

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My box begins to fill up!

After a bunch of greens is harvested, you give it a double dip, first in the left bucket of water and next in the right bucket.

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A blooming squash blossom is absolutely beautiful.

A growing squash blossom.

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A volunteer works on the harvest.

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The vibrant stems of red chard remind me of Christmas.

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More wild flowers.

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A hay bench makes a nice resting spot.

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After harvesting the collard greens, I washed this box of lettuce heads.

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I learned that fresh cut lettuce leaves are very delicate.

The harvested vegetables are taken to the San Francisco Food Bank. From there the produce is distributed to churches, schools, f

The boxes are placed in the shade to prevent wilting.

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The water becomes cloudy quickly. Its important to frequently change the wash buckets.

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The hose where the wash buckets are filled.

In neat circles, the vegetables look pretty.

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The compost heap.
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milosmommy milosmommy 7 years
I'm so glad we changed our minds and didn't do flowers. :)
milosmommy milosmommy 7 years
We built a "flower bed/box" last year in our backyard that we intended to put flowers in, but this spring we decided instead to do veggies. We've all been taking care of it as a family and it's been so much fun and rewarding watching them grow and eating the fruits of our labor. We currently have 4 tomato plants (1 cherry and the rest are bigger varrieties that I'm not sure of), yellow squash, lots of tomatillos, cucumbers, carrots, 2 chiles (jalapenos I think), and nopal (edible cactus), we also have orange, lemon and avocado trees.
sfbutterfly24 sfbutterfly24 7 years
I loved the victory garden in front of city hall. It was a great educational and uber uber fun with my 4 year old nephew who loved it!!I highly suggest going and seeing it for urself if ur in the city.
AmberHoney AmberHoney 7 years
You go Rancher'sGirl! Gardening is the best hobby I have outside of reading. I love eating my own food. I take care of the trees but hubby does all the maintenance - trimming and helping me pick the fruit.
Rancher'sGirl Rancher'sGirl 7 years
We also have plum, peach, citrus, and avocado trees. My husband is in charge of those, though...I just jam and can the produce. :) I'm a city girl who married a country fella.:)
Rancher'sGirl Rancher'sGirl 7 years
I am so lucky...my husband gave me the "bathtub" garden to experiment with to my heart's content.:) My garden is bathtubs filled with dirt and fertilizer. It is super easy to water and it conserves water as well. I am growing tomatoes, zukes, Tahitian squash, bell peppers, carrots, corn, and popcorn. The popcorn is going in my holiday goody baskets along with the sauces and jams I've made.:) This is the first garden I've ever planted, tended, and harvested, and it has been so much fun!:)
AmberHoney AmberHoney 7 years
I'm just a country girl living in the city; hoping to change that real soon, we're looking. Try growing some maters they are so simple and they grow like weeds with a little fertilizer and some love. You can grow them in a container also.
seraphimm seraphimm 7 years
AmberHoney I'm so jealous!!!! Everything you grow is my favorite :) this is the reason I'm looking at houses right now. I currently live in a small apartment.... so... no-go on the gardening that I oh-so-love....
AmberHoney AmberHoney 7 years
I've gardened forever - this year is 4 types of toms, 3 types of bells, Italian and jalapeno peppers, cilantro, rosemary, basil, mint, carrots, crookneck squash and I also have a lime, pomegranate and peach trees.
ilanac13 ilanac13 7 years
i really like the concept of the garden. i think taht it had a great relevance back in the day - but now it really can still have the same type of impact - if the community lets it. i think that it's a great volunteer project, and overall an interesting idea for how to supply fruits and veggies etc to the community.
flyingroo flyingroo 7 years
What an awesome place! Makes me want to transform my patio into one lush veggie garden....oh wait, I've already done that! :encore:
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