Monday, August 25, 2008

The Garden that Alice and Gavin Planted

This coming weekend, which is the long Labor Day Weekend (sigh, summer, where did you go?) is also when the Slow Food Nation takes place, a massive foodie event that's supposed to promote the ideal of eating sustainably and cooking naturally. Started in Italy, the Slow Food movement in the United States is the passion of back-to-nature Alice Waters. It should be an exciting gathering of food lovers in food destination San Francisco.

As a preview of this multi-day event that includes a major Taste Pavilion, tasting menus at local restaurants and panel discussions, I decided to check out the little garden planted in the front mall of San Francisco's City Hall, under the auspices of Ms. Waters and Mayor Gavin Newsom.

The garden is open every day during the day and is free to the public. There's a gardener on the premises to answer questions and a little stage, but not sure if performances are scheduled there.

There were tons of herbs and vegetables and flowers. And yes, it smelled like fertilizer. But that's the smell of organic growth, no?

Everything were planted in concentric circles, which really takes advantage of the water flow when watering, especially important during this time when we're in a drought.

I think the garden has been around for a month. So far these lettuces still look kind of small huh? I wonder how long they take to grow? No wonder salads are expensive; it takes forever to grow them! ;-)

Bok choy! I eat this all the time and now I can see how they look in the ground.

What an interesting squash blossom. It's like a star fish.

This is how I think of squash blossoms. You know, I could sell this one for a a whole quarter I bet at a farmer's market. I bet I could get a $1 for that star-fish-looking one above.

Brilliant swiss chard with their red stems.

There were several types of filler flowers in various pots, just to make the garden pretty. We always need flowers to make us stop and take notice of what's around us.

The garden is worth checking out if you don't do anything else during Slow Food Nation. Also near City Hall will be a special "Slow Food to Go" event where street food vendors will set up shop at the Civic Center Plaza (where there's typically a farmers market on Sundays) to sell food really cheap like a food court. So that's another thing to check out that's free. (The Taste Pavilions at Fort Mason are $65 per day for adults, so a bit of a commitment.)

This is definitely a community garden, if your community is more than 1 million people. ;-)

Check out the Slow Food Nation's schedule of events and buy tickets here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

how lovely everything looks - great pics! I really have to check it out while it's all green and growing.