Victory Garden Watch: Day 4 | Civil Eats

Victory Garden Watch: Day 4

After a foggy, windy 4th of July, the sun came back out in time for the Victory Garden crew to resume preparations in front of City Hall. I walked down mid-day and found manager, John Bela, and his colleague Blaine Merker reviewing the drawings for the circular garden plots that will soon be laid out in the 10,000 square foot rectangular space.

The volunteer team was busy unrolling wide bolts of black garden fabric and inserting rebar stakes into the ground to mark the center of each plot. Later in the day, Bela told me, they’d be creating a full-scale drawing of the plans on top of the cloth, then pulling their rolls of rice straw wattle into place.

A week from today, all of this prep work will be complete and the planting of the vegetables will begin. Every step of the way, we need volunteers. The Victory Garden is an important public statement for the city of San Francisco and your hands and voices are a crucial part of this community effort. On top that, it’s fun! If you would like to join us, please email And whether or not you can help, please drop by Civic Center Plaza and take a look at what’s happening in the heart of the city.

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Sarah Rich is an editor at Dwell magazine, where she specializes in sustainable design and architecture. She was the managing editor of the Slow Food Nation blog leading up to the inaugural 2008 event in San Francisco. She was also the managing editor and co-author of the book Worldchanging: A User's Guide for the 21st Century (Abrams, 2006). Sarah lives in the Mission district of San Francisco where fog is scarce and tacos are not. Read more >

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  1. Jamie Delman
    I think this is a fantastic project. I've discussed this with several community gardeners (of which I am one). It behooves us why this garden is going to be dismantled. The way things are going with the cost of food and gas, we're going to seriously need victory gardens. Please explain!


    San Francisco Gardener
  2. helen seek
    I've never seen gardening done this way. It used to be: plow up the ground with a horse or tractor, and plow. Smooth it out; lay out a row and add seed; cover it up and wait and watch the weather. Later comes the interminal weeding; and the harvesting; and the canning; and the freezing; and the eating. And it worked o.k. for us.
    But what is this black garden fabric and plot lay out, etc.
    Didn't used to be necessary. Sounds like extra work and expense. So what is the thinking behind it.

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