Yesterday, I had the opportunity to spend all day weeding garden beds, helping fix irrigation lines, and water seedlings in a 10,000-square-foot garden. But I wasn't on a rural organic farm, I was in front of City Hall in San Francisco.
Just last week, over 150 volunteers rolled up a huge swath of sod in front of City Hall, and over a few days, established this 10,000-square-foot edible garden. All of the organic garden beds are planted in rice straw wattles, which are essentially long tubes of rice straw. The project, called the Slow Food Nation Victory Garden, is open to the public from July 13 to Sept. 21. Stocked with beautiful, edible vegetables and native, drought-resistant Bay Area plants, the garden provides visitors with an up-close look at gardening, as well as inspiration for creating their own garden.
To find out more about the Victory Garden, read more.
When I wasn't planting seedlings or watering plants yesterday, I answered visitors' questions. A group of camp kids asked me if any of the plants had fruit yet, so I directed them to some yellow crookneck squash and green, tiny tomatoes. An older man asked me about how the rice wattles worked. Another woman told me that she could identify the corn plants, though nothing else, so I took her on a quick identification tour of the entire garden. Everyone whom I met was enthusiastic about the project, and said that it was relaxing to spend time in nature in the middle of the city, and also exciting to think about how much the plants were going to grow in the next two months.
The Slow Food Nation Victory Garden was designed and built in a collaborative effort by a number of local organizations, including the Garden for the Environment’s Victory Gardens 08+ Program, CMG Landscape Architecture, and City Slicker Farms. Seeds were donated from Seeds of Change, as well as individual donors from around the US, and support was also provided by several corporate sponsors, including Sunset magazine and New Resources bank.
Are you in the San Francisco Bay Area and interested in volunteering, too? Contact SF Victory Gardens to find out how you can help!