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Planting a Victory Garden

Sure, there are plenty of questionable projects funded by the City of San Francisco, but here’s one worth taking note of (and action on): The SF Victory Gardens program, a pilot program aimed to support the transition of backyard, front yard, window boxes, rooftops and unused land into organic food production areas. In other words, city-dwellers, here is your opportunity to turn your underutilized space into a green oasis, with support from a team of talented professionals.


This could be your backyard.
Photograph by Chris Beddoe.

This idea—turning crummy backyards and roofs into mean, lean, self-sufficient producers of greens—is one that’s picking up speed around San Francisco (and actually a very old idea, as the heyday of Victory Gardens was at the start of World War 1, when Americans were encouraged to plant gardens to support the war effort). This recent article (written by our brilliant former editorial assistant, Roxanne Webber), describes how people across the country are turning their front lawns—yes, the same front lawns that were the crab-grass free pride of ’50’s homeowners—into verdant vegetable gardens. What’s more, as part of the inaugural Slow Food Nation bonanza (running over Labor Day weekend) Alice Waters has designs on turning the lawn outside City Hall into a giant vegetable garden.

This year, the project is choosing 15 households to participate, and are looking for a diverse mix—everything from experienced gardeners to newbies, those with a quarter-acre or a few containers. You can download the application here. Let the greening begin!