Wasteland turned into garden patch

A weedy swathe of city-owned land has been razed by dozens of volunteers and local residents and turned into a multitiered garden bed designed to help families and children connect with the earth in a neighborhood where fresh produce is hard to find.

The nonprofit Quesada Gardens Initiative — which has turned several neglected Bayview patches of dirt into blooming gardens — used volunteers, free recycled concrete and a $30,000 San Francisco Department of the Environment grant to turn a steep, narrow triangle of city-owned land into a garden bed above the Quesada Garden at Bridgeview and Newhall streets.

Construction of the garden beds is almost complete, with finishing touches scheduled for February.

“There was weeds as high as our heads, and we cleared it out twice,” group co-founder James Ross said. “The third time we were like, ‘Well, we don’t want to clear it out anymore, so we need to do something with it.’”

The 2,700-square-foot garden was planted in late winter with a mini-orchard of eight donated fruit trees, according to group horticulturalist Tony Tarket. He said space will be set aside for seasonal vegetables such as tomatoes, squash, broccoli and ethnic vegetables, all of which will be grown from seed.

“Many of the children believe fruits and vegetables come from the counter at the supermarket,” Tarket said. “They don’t even realize that they’ve got to come from the earth first.”

Bayview has only one full-service supermarket, according to the San Francisco Department of Health. A recent survey by the Southeast Food Access Working Group, an offshoot of the mayor’s Shape Up San Francisco, found that one-third of the area’s residents couldn’t buy their favorite ethnic foods, including vegetables, in their multicultural neighborhood.

University of San Francisco architecture and community design students designed the Bridgeview Garden for free.

“The main thrust was food production,” professor Seth Wachtel said. “The design solution was to create a series of tiered plantinglevels and a tiered amphitheater — a breakout space where children can sit and listen to an instructor talk about what they’re going to be doing in the garden.”

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Anti-eviction demonstrators rally outside San Francisco Superior Court. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Report: Unpaid rent due to COVID-19 could be up to $32.7M per month

A new city report that attempts to quantify how much rent has… Continue reading

Music venues around The City have largely been unable to reopen due to ongoing pandemic health orders. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SF to cut $2.5M in fees to help 300 nightlife venues

San Francisco will cut $2.5 million in fees for hundreds of entertainment… Continue reading

Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett departs the U.S. Capitol on October 21, 2020 in Washington, DC. President Donald Trump nominated Barrett to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg after Ginsburg’s death. (Photo by Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images)
GOP senators confirm Amy Coney Barrett to Supreme Court in partisan vote

By Jennifer Haberkorn Los Angeles Times The Senate on Monday confirmed Judge… Continue reading

Curator Tim Burgard looks over a section of the galleries comprising “The de Young Open,” a huge, varied collection of work by Bay Area artists. (Photo courtesy Gary Sexton/Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco)
Bay Area artists jam-pack vivid ‘de Young Open’

Huge exhibition — with works for sale — showcases diversity, supports community

SF Board of Education vice president Gabriela Lopez and commissioner Alison Collins listen at a news conference condemning recent racist and social media attacks targeted at them and the two student representatives on Monday, Oct. 26, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Online attacks on school board members denounced by city officials

City officials on Monday condemned the targeting of school board members, both… Continue reading

Most Read