USF Garden Project

Alemany Farm Visit
February 27, 2008, 7:20 pm
Filed under: Activities, Food, organic gardening

The Garden Project
Report Due: October 3, 2007
Alemany Farm
“It all starts with the soil…” -Jason

Quick Notes:
• This area used to be an illegal dump, as it is situated right off of the 280.
• The property used to be a natural swamp; and has one of the few above ground creaks in the area.
• It holds the second largest biodiversity in San Francisco for butterflies and moths.
• It is four and a half acres, located in the south of San Francisco.
• All the produce is sold at Bay View Farmers Point, a subsidized organic farmers market. $1.00 for most items, or given to the volunteers.
• The farm has an average of 360 volunteers, 10-15 of which volunteer weekly.

This Friday (September 28th) the garden projectors filed into two vans and took off for Alemany Farm, a 4 ½ acre organic garden in the south end of San Francisco. Jason, the farm manager and an urban farmer himself, met us and shared of the entire goings on around the farm. A great time was had by everyone, sitting in the circle learning, digging in the dirt, and eating freshly picked apples and carrots.

Some things I thought were really great about this garden: the rows, and the stone circle. I’m from central California where you can drive along the highway and see rows beyond rows of food growing, and I have always been drawn to them, as a beautiful scenic picture. I have never seen any one use the row structure in a small garden before, yet I began to think of a few reasons why they might be desirable for our own garden at USF. First, I love the symmetry of them. If we were looking for an aesthetically pleasing garden (to my own taste) I would have straight rows, and lots of them. Yet I do also see a practical side. The space it saves, and the paths (in order to never stand on your sacred growing bed), yet most importantly, the way the eleven of us could work side by side, one row at a time.

The stone circle where we sat when we first arrived, was a great design. After visiting Garden for the Environment and seeing there “educational circle” I have been more intrigued by the idea of creating a place in our garden at USF, where people can sit, relax, and learn. The circle was actually a semi-circle, with raised seats made out of wood, and could probably sit up to twenty persons. It would be great if we could do something like this, but also incorporate grass (like at Garden for the Environment) perhaps in the middle of the circle…

I love visiting these gardens…with every new place I think, “We should totally do that!”
-Stasie Smith


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