POPSUGAR Food

Harvesting San Francisco's Victory Garden

Aug 20 2008 - 11:39am

Last week I went to City Hall to help harvest the Slow Food Victory Garden [1]. Developed as a solution to food shortages during World War I and II, victory gardens not only supply vegetables, fruit, and herbs to the masses, but they also act as a morale booster during tough times. Today Slow Food [2] has partnered with San Francisco to showcase the spirit and power of the public victory garden [3]. The victory of these gardens, however, is to reduce the food miles normally associated with the average American meal and promote homegrown local produce.
Every Thursday a group of volunteers meets to harvest the vegetables. Arranged in a stunning concentric design, the garden provides food and illustrates the pure beauty of such vegetables as red chard and squash blossoms. While I picked bunches of collard greens and washed heads of lettuce, I couldn't help but think how vegetables are as gorgeous and colorful as flowers.

The Victory Garden is planted in front of San Francisco's City Hall.

Upon entering, there is a sign that describes the motto of the garden.

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Anyone can walk through the garden and take a rest on one of the hay benches.

Do you have a garden? Have you ever been a part of a large-scale harvest? While you may not be able to experience this victory garden's harvest firsthand, you can take a look at my gallery filled with images. To do so, .

The Victory Garden is planted in front of San Francisco's City Hall.

Upon entering, there is a sign that describes the motto of the garden.

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Anyone can walk through the garden and take a rest on one of the hay benches.

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Fresh basil!

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All of the signs are written in Spanish, English, and Chinese.

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Wild flowers were planted to attract bugs that pollinate the vegetables.

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The start of my collard green harvest.

Kelsey, the garden educator teaches me how to harvest.

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Rubber bands for bunching together stems of greens.

The gardens are designed in a circular patter.

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My box begins to fill up!

After a bunch of greens is harvested, you give it a double dip, first in the left bucket of water and next in the right bucket.

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A blooming squash blossom is absolutely beautiful.

A growing squash blossom.

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A volunteer works on the harvest.

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The vibrant stems of red chard remind me of Christmas.

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More wild flowers.

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A hay bench makes a nice resting spot.

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After harvesting the collard greens, I washed this box of lettuce heads.

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I learned that fresh cut lettuce leaves are very delicate.

The harvested vegetables are taken to the San Francisco Food Bank. From there the produce is distributed to churches, schools, f

The boxes are placed in the shade to prevent wilting.

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The water becomes cloudy quickly. Its important to frequently change the wash buckets.

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The hose where the wash buckets are filled.

In neat circles, the vegetables look pretty.

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The compost heap.

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