3-Minute Interview: Anya Fernald

The executive director of Slow Food Nation was on hand for the planting of the vegetable garden — named for the wartime Victory Gardens — at City Hall. Food grown in the 10,000-square-foot plot will be donated to the San Francisco Food Bank until the garden shuts down at the end of September.

What makes Slow Food right for the Bay Area? We live close to some of the most productive agriculture in the world. At the same time, we have urban food deserts a few miles away from those farms, like in Fresno.

Why do community vegetable gardens make sense now? You look at kids, and they’re all really big. You can’t not notice it anymore.

What have been the challenges of putting a garden at City Hall? Even though it wasn’t the best environment for a garden, the value-add of having it in a symbolic location was really crucial.

How did passersby respond when they saw the planting? Kids get really excited about it. Kids and gardens are like peanut butter and jelly.

What's the most common question you’ve gotten about this project? People want to know if people are going to steal the food. We hired security, but we don't think we’ll need the security — a lot of the homeless people are very eager to protect it.

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