On top of Potrero Hill, at 20th and San Bruno, near McKinley Square Park, sits a lovely community garden. It overlooks the western side of the city, from Twin Peaks to downtown San Francisco. On a clear day, you can see Sutro Tower and if you’re lucky, even the towers of the Golden Gate Bridge.
All 50 plots in the garden are maintained by local residents using only organic methods. The sunny Potrero weather is great for growing a variety of fruits and vegetables like grapes, rhubarb, onions, tomatoes, zucchini, squash, pumpkin, corn and lots more.
It also has the prettiest dahlias and sunflowers. And it has a beehive, too!
Our trek up the hill to check out the Potrero garden actually reminded me of my mom’s own garden back home in Manila. She has a guava tree, a papaya tree, peppers and herbs in her backyard. She would make nilaga, a Filipino beef stew, and garnish it with fresh green papayas picked right out of her garden. Lately, she started growing pineapples and when I phoned her the last time she was so excited to tell me that her pineapples turned out sweet and that my 5-year old niece loved them.
I’ve always wanted my own vegetable garden. I think growing your own vegetables at home like tomatoes for a caprese salad or basil for pesto is such a cool thing to do. But I’ve always lived in tiny living spaces, which really makes it almost impossible to maintain one. This makes community gardens perfect for those who are space-challenged like me. The very popular Potrero garden, however, has a very long waiting list. The current count is 74 people waiting to get in, which may take about a few years! So while waiting for a spot to open (or while saving for a country home) I’m going to start a small garden in our loft in the Dogpatch. I’m actually very excited that the new apartment has a pretty big-size patio that gets a good enough share of sun and shade. I think it’ll be perfect for a small herb garden. And maybe some tomatoes, too.
To know more about community gardens in the city and to find a garden in your neighborhood, follow this link.