31 October 2012

Evolution of a Community Garden

Earlier this year, while spending a few days in San Francisco (more about that here and here), I stumbled upon this more-or-less empty lot around the corner from the symphony hall:

Had the sign not identified it as a community garden, I wouldn't have known what was in store for the lot.

It was obviously still in the early stages, but it was exciting to know that a community garden was going in right in the middle of the city.

We were back in the city recently, and we passed by the same community garden, but this time it was thriving.  (That's a pumpkin!)

I'm really digging the repurposed-pallet chairs.

A day or two later, I was on the bus and noticed an ad for the city's composting services.  It said, "We compost in San Francisco because we love community gardens.  Toss in the leftover pizza.  Local gardens will thrive with the compost generated from the green bin."

The next bus I rode had another ad with the same theme, but referring to the environmental benefits of composting (specifically, that keeping organic material out of landfills reduces methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change):

San Francisco is obviously a green leader, but I'm happy to say that Austin is about to unveil curbside composting services as well.  I received e-mail this week saying that my neighborhood is part of the pilot project that will start in December.  I look forward to sharing all of the details as soon as I have them.


  1. I was quite amazed and inspired about how green SanFran was when we visited a couple years ago. They are very aggressive recyclers, diverting almost 80% of their waste from landfills.

    You know, I offered y'all worms before the city offered you this curbside composting service. Just sayin'...

    1. Never fear; we haven't forgotten your generosity.

  2. Hey Devon! Thanks for sharing - I'm wondering, though, how do cities like Austin and San Fran deal with all the critters that come with composting? Or is the whole compost-causes-rat-infestations thing (which is the story we get fed here in Baltimore as an explanation for why composting is illegal within city limits) total BS??

    1. I can tell that some kind of animal (squirrels or possums, probably?) roots around in my compost pile from time to time, but they're here anyway, and it doesn't cause a problem. I've never lived anywhere with a rat problem, so I couldn't really say whether that's a legitimate concern in Baltimore. If you can't compost there, maybe you could just bury kitchen scraps, etc. in the backyard? They'll break down underground but shouldn't be as tempting to the animals. I can't believe composting is illegal in parts of the country! Didn't know that.