Today was the kind of day that makes you want to get your hands deep in some fresh dirt. The sun was tinged with an early Spring warmth that made us all a bit giddy. The feisty bluejay who lives next door was in rare form, cracking a big peanut shell on a blooming fig tree. My cats were sprawled out like bunny lions. And, Bella and I decided we would plant some strawberries.
Lucky for us, we live in a place in the city where things always seem to be sprouting. Out here in the Mission Terrace we are blessed with year round things blooming like crazy in our own backyards. It is one of my favorite things about this neighborhood…almost every house has a secret garden, where all sorts of miraculous things grow. No miracle gro required! It’s just awesome soil and sun, which can be a rarity in San Francisco. My back yard alone boasts actual grass…and camelias and cala lilies and 3 kinds of roses and rhododendrons and all kinds of delightful species of flora whose names I can hardly pronounce. And just over the fence, I am privy to my neighbor’s secret gardens, which are the homes to magnolia trees and daffodils and angel’s trumpets and looming star pines and the aforementioned fig tree. And someone has a night blooming jasmine tree, because I can smell it when the wind blows just so.
And also in my hood is a new urban farm business, called Little City Gardens. A partnership of two women who love to garden and want to be “immersed in the dirt of our food systems.”
I was excited to see that they had taken over this abandoned patch of land a couple of blocks from me. The two gals Brooke and Caitlyn had approached the owners and asked if they could start their urban farm there. Lo and behold the owners said yes, under one caveat…that they beautify the place. And boy did they ever. Now, whenever I walk by, whether in the dewey morning or as the sun is starting it’s descent behind the hills, I see two silhouettes lovingly tending to all those growing things.
The ladies at Little City Gardens mostly sell salad greens, herbs, and flowers to local restaurants, but they are also an educational site, and a working model of food production in San Francisco. I love what they say in their mission statement.
~ our mission statement ~
Little City Gardens is a small urban farming business in San Francisco, CA, that grows, sells and distributes healthy food within the city. As we work, we are developing, as well as analyzing, the potential for economic viability in the field of urban farming. We seek to serve a diverse population, and to build a community dialogue about food systems, by involving and educating members in our processes and problem solving.
In our garden, and in our lives, we value:
sensitivity to people and place
That just rules! And I love that they practice the principles of sustainability and community on a daily basis. In fact they are so community minded that it turns out…that’s where we got the strawberries we planted today. Back in October, I happened to see on their facebook page that they were giving away strawberry plants to their neighbors. I went over there the next day and was handed over 6 hearty plants. (yes, literally hearty!)
So, Bella and I got down in the dirt and replanted the strawberries not far from the place where they first grew. It’s nice to know they will share the same soil as our local urban farmers, Caitlin and Brooke. We are very grateful to you both for this little gift to our garden that will bear such sweet fruit. And we love having you just down the road a piece. Perhaps we will bring you some strawberry rhubarb in a couple of months.
I think this neighbor said it best about Little City Gardens:
I feel much more involved and positive about my neighborhood. It is no longer just a bunch of houses and driveways- it has that vital ingredient -life.
Thank you, Caitlin and Brooke. Keep up the heART work!
<3 the daily heART
~ click here to visit their lovely website ~