Victory gardens originated during World Wars 1 and 2, when citizens were urged to grow their own food, in fact 40% of America's food was produced in them. San Francisco’s victory programme was one of the best; there were over 250 garden plots in Golden Gate Park. In recognition of this history, and the need to become more ecologically self-sufficient, the front lawn of San Francisco City Hall has been dug up and over the summer will be turned into a mass of vegetables. Calling it "a living quilt of plants and people, a garden of communities", it will feature a wide range of heritage organic vegetables native to the Bay Area climate. A host of serious food celebrities will be in attendance such as Alice Waters of Chez Panisse restaurant, Treehugger's favourite author Michael Pollan, and Slow Food genius Carlo Petrini.
It will be a huge educational undertaking. Starter kits are being made available for people wanting to start gardening. They will be delivered by a gardener riding a tricycle, and will include a lesson on how to build a raised bed, planting and a follow up harvest and seed saving lesson. Volunteers will be welcomed on several projects around town. In addition, 15 pilot urban organic food gardens will be started for 15 families of varied ethnic background. The event culminates on Labour Day when there will be a huge feast and harvest day. The idea is spreading--there is a demonstration project in London's St. James Park, and now London's Royal Parks are considering growing formal cabbage gardens instead of flowers next year. :: flavorpill
More on Victory Gardens
:: Victory Gardens: War on Waste
:: Alice Waters' schoolyard food programme
:: Carlo Petrini, Slow Food
:: Michael Pollan on Food