Gardening in the Concrete Jungle

fort mason community gardenWhile I was attending a conference in San Francisco I happened across this oasis one night on my way back to the hotel from a restaurant. My feet were killing me and I was sleep-deprived, so I told myself I would come back and explore. I’m so glad I did. I was full of superlatives as I lumbered around this most beautiful, most unexpected agrarian conglomeration.

Established in 1975, the Fort Mason Community Garden overlooks San Francisco from Fort Mason, a former Army post. Organic practices are strongly encouraged and pesticides are forbidden. The 125 garden plots are 100 square feet, on average. The land is tiered, which adds drama to the garden. It was so neat to look at all diverse plots and personality. Some are for growing food, others for flowers, or a combination. Some tidy; some unruly and exotic. There’s even a zen garden. Members are required to plant at least two seasons per year. While the garden feels like a secret, the community knows its value: the membership waiting list is four years long.
fort mason community garden
fort mason community gardenfort mason community garden
fort mason community garden
Everett Price maintains his plot on a Sunday morning. He’s been a member of the Fort Mason Community Garden for 20 years. He and his wife Alice wish they could bring their dogs along; alas, dogs are not allowed.

More photos here.

Soon I’ll start profiling community gardens in the OKC metro. Please leave suggestions in a comment. If you want to profile a community garden for oklavore.com, email me at tricia@oklavore.com.

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