Wednesday, October 28, 2009

MHS goes to Little City Gardens

The Mission High School gardeners took a walking field trip over to Little City Gardens the other day to check out the amazing work happening there, get ideas of how to get the most growing power out of a small space, and talk about small, community-minded business and entrepreneurship with the amazing farmer/owners Brooke Budner and Caitlyn Galloway.

We got a tour of the garden where they grow mostly an artisanal salad mix and herbs for a local restaurant and have a CSA in the works. We also got to check out their seed starting area with totally brilliant half bike hoops to hold up row cover, and got to smell fennel and take some prickly chayote squash back for our garden (chayote are a beautiful vining squash native to central or south america depending on who you talk to, that grow really well in the warmer parts of San Francisco. You can grow a new plant from a ripe fruit (which you can get at the farmers market and even some local grocery stores when it's in season) by letting it sit in the dark until it sprouts, then burying it on it's side (sprout side up!) half way up in potting soil until it develops enough roots to be transplanted)

I thought this was a great trip on many levels, but especially because of how much Brooke and Caitlyn are managing to do with a fairly small space that is nearly right around the corner from the high school, and because I think it's really important for the students to see urban gardening not just as a non-profit and educational endeavor, but also as an important addition to our local economy, and a positive source of entrepreneurship, grassroots business and potential employment.

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