A few years ago Kitchen Garden SF helped a group of military veterans build an edible garden in the middle of the San Francisco Veterans Administration Medical Center campus. Together we learned about nutrition and began transforming a neglected spot along a parking garage into a vibrant garden.
This week Booka, Dave and Karla had a little reunion and visited the gardens. We hadn’t been there in almost 2 years and didn’t know what to expect. The gardens are planted in troughs located in a windy and exposed spot less than a half of a mile from the ocean. And even in easy growing conditions, community gardens can be difficult to sustain in the long term.
We were blown away to find flourishing gardens full of a variety of vegetables and herbs with a ornamental flowers mixed in. In this garden by the ocean, vets are growing cabbages and rhubarb and potatoes. Artichoke plants are big and happy and one trough has mint, lemon grass and the perennial Vietnamese coriander, Rau Ram.
Collards and kale and carrots are ready to be harvested. We spotted peppers – probably in their second year, but peppers! San Francisco gardeners struggle to get peppers going. And celery – most of us have never even seen celery growing in San Francisco!
We all came away inspired and eager to get our hands back in the soil.
If you are on a computer, you can see more photos here: