By Susan Taylor
Gardening is the new front porch in America. Scratch not too deeply and we all have agricultural roots from someone, somewhere. San Diego is growing veggies in the front yard, the back yard, a community garden or even on someone else’s property. The “new” hot landscaping is called edible landscaping. Take a walk and look around. See any lettuce, chard or grapevines next to the sidewalk, near the front door?
Our parents remember Victory Gardens started during lean times during WWII to help feed families. Our grandparents might have come from another country or our own Mid-West where their families grew crops for sale and for dinner. My grand pap that lived in North Park (he left Pennsylvania for better weather) grew vegetables and roses all year long and was the happier for it. He taught me how to rake, plant and sweep. When Dad bought us a new house in Rolando in 1954, he planted a fruit tree outside everyone’s bedroom window-the easier to eat a fresh peach!
Visiting recently with Judy Jacoby, the coordinator of the San Diego Community Garden network, she said, “There are easily over 70 community gardens in San Diego and we learn of more every day. Some are for neighbors, some have lotteries, several are ethnic and growers choose their own crops.” I’ve seen the most pristine Asian green gardens planted so closely it’s hard to squeeze around rows, but clean enough to lick the blades of vegetables!
There are four community gardens run by students on the UCSD campus that have waiting lists. Students in campus housing are eager to know what they can grow on the balcony next to the wetsuit drying.
A popular source for local and reliable gardening information can be found at SanDiegoMasterGardener. The Master Gardeners also staff a hotline Monday-Friday from 9-3 to answer questions; the phone number is 858-822- 6910.
They offer a seminar on March 22 this year wherein the public can attend up to three lectures and view demonstrations, best practices and a garden marketplace for all your garden needs.
Watch this column for further topics!