Community Garden update

by Heguiberto on March 4, 2011

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Woo hoo! We were offered a larger plot and we took it!

entrance to the new community garden. Sorry Clarence, no dogs allowed!

entrance to the new community garden. Sorry Clarence, no dogs allowed!

The new plot is at least twice as big as our former plot 8. In a community garden at the opposite side of Potrero Hill, now we face the Mission neighborhood, Twin Peaks and the Sutro Tower, parts of the Civic Center and you can even glimpse the upper parts of the towers of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Marin Headlands on clear days. But our Bayview is lost. I think this garden might get more sunlight too. Like the last one, it was a wreck when we got it! The former gardener apparently moved to a house in the Mission with a big yard. She had planted a lot of interesting things like cabbage, various herbs, strawberries etc. but had been gone for a while. The garden was overgrown, full of weeds, and disgusting snails. Ewuh!

view from the community garden all the way to the Marin Headlands.  Can you see the tips of the Golden Gate Bridge

view from the community garden all the way to the Marin Headlands. Can you see the tips of the Golden Gate Bridge?

view from the community garden across the Mission neighborhood to Twin Peaks and the Sutro Tower

view from the community garden across the Mission neighborhood to Twin Peaks and the Sutro Tower


Steven and I spent a couple of days over a course of two weekends weeding it, killing snails, and then building a fence wrapped with chicken wire. There was lots of digging and hammering and stretching in funny directions, which in turn led to lots of body aches and excessive use of ibuprofen. How did pre-technological peoples manage?!? After all that, it was time to plant. That took about twenty minutes compared to the three-day preparation. This time, I planted a bunch of collard greens, Italian and Russian kale, cauliflower, oregano, artichoke and Swiss chard. (Our fellow community gardeners seem to be very successful with artichoke and Swiss chard in particular, as you can tell from some of the pics.) Our plantings are pathetically small right now but I’m happy and full of hope that we will be harvesting some veggies we cultivated ourselves in late Spring! This experience has been very gratifying and we both feel humbled. Growing your own food is not an easy task. You put a lot of energy into it with no guarantees. (Already something has been nibbling the Italian kale!) We’re full of doubt with our hope: will the plants survive or not? So many variables come into the game… well, at least the promised once-in-thirty-five-years snowstorm failed to materialize. That’s something.
here you can see part of the new fence around our plot

here you can see part of the new fence around our plot

the cauliflower plants seem happy but the Italian kale has already become a snack for something

the cauliflower plants seem happy but the Italian kale has already become a snack for something

Of course, we had to leave behind the collard greens, parsley, cucumber and radishes from plot 8. But that’s alright since someone else can go to that spot and try their hand at urban farming.

Swiss chard from another community gardener looks excellent!

Swiss chard from another community gardener looks excellent!


huge artichoke plants from the garden right across from mine

huge artichoke plants from the garden right across from mine

our droopy, rather sad-looking Swiss chard and artichoke plantings

our droopy, rather sad-looking Swiss chard and artichoke plantings

Meanwhile, at home the heirloom okra sprouts are reaching an inch tall! The eggplants and peppers have all sprouted too. They’re all at the two-leaf stage. I feel like a kid in science lab when I saw the baby sprouts erupting from the ground. It’s a magical moment.

More to come! Keep your fingers crossed for us.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Karen March 4, 2011 at 2:42 am

Wow, what a cool plot! I’d spend every day there just for the incredible view. There’s nothing more satisfying than growing your own herbs and veggies (well, maybe other than eating them ;-)). I wish you guys much success with the new garden and can’t wait to see the harvest!

LeQuan March 4, 2011 at 9:30 am

I get so envious of anyone with a garden. What a great view you have there as well. Good luck with the new garden. Can’t wait to see what magic you guys grow in there. Have fun!
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Devaki @ weavethousandflavors.com March 5, 2011 at 8:38 am

What an amazing plot and what a view! So easy to be inspired when you have such Nature’s bounty. What a gift – this sorta stuff makes me all warm and fuzzy.

Unfortunately, I am the place plants come to, to die. Alas! I have not my mother’s green thumb just a black one!

I will just have to stick to my farmers co-op 🙂

chow! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors
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tasteofbeirut March 5, 2011 at 8:13 pm

Just to show you how much I missed visiting you guys, I bypassed a virus warning I have been getting whenever I attempt to go over to your site, and thought, what the hey….glad I came and saw; this plot is amazing, the view, the possibilities!!!How exciting!! Do you think you could grow that amazing tree from Brazil with the fruits growing on the branches?
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tigerfish March 6, 2011 at 8:47 pm

Lovely garden! Look at the Swiss Chard 🙂

Heavenly Housewife March 7, 2011 at 7:24 am

That swiss chard is just beautiful! I’m going to try my hand at gardening this year. Last year i didn’t because of some failures i’ve had in the past. I really want to grow some heirloom tomatoes!
*kisses* HH

christo/doggybloggy March 8, 2011 at 12:14 pm

we are still a month away from any kind of planting here in NYC – you are making me long for my frozen little community garden to thaw out.
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Heguiberto March 8, 2011 at 1:18 pm

Christo,
I think I might have started them a bit too early even for here 🙂 I think it’s the excitement of finally having my garden. The temperature has been oscillating quite a bit lately. It is fun though wrapping and un-wrapping the plants to protect them from the cold.
Stand by because beautiful Spring is on its way 🙂
When we lived in NYC it was fun going to Central Park early Spring to see the daffodils, crocus, forsythias, tulips, and then the magnolia and cherry trees in bloom. A real treat to the eyes!
Thanks for your visit!
Cheers
H

Heguiberto April 15, 2011 at 9:02 am

Thanks Patrick. we will be harvesting our first leaves of organically grown Swiss chard this weekend! It is really beautiful there. The garden offers magnificent views of SF with stunning sunsets. Cheers, H

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