Gardening Is the New Front Porch in America

by on February 2, 2014 · 1 comment

in Culture, Environment, Health

By Susan Taylor / San Diego Free Press

Gardening is the new front porch in America. Scratch not too deeply and we all have agricultural roots from someone, somewhere. San Diego is growing veggies in the front yard, the back yard, a community garden or even on someone else’s property. The “new” hot landscaping is called edible landscaping. Take a walk and look around. See any lettuce, chard or grapevines next to the sidewalk, near the front door?

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Our parents remember Victory Gardens started during lean times during WWII to help feed families. Our grandparents might have come from another country or our own Mid-West where their families grew crops for sale and for dinner. My grand pap that lived in North Park (he left Pennsylvania for better weather) grew vegetables and roses all year long and was the happier for it. He taught me how to rake, plant and sweep. When Dad bought us a new house in Rolando in 1954, he planted a fruit tree outside everyone’s bedroom window-the easier to eat a fresh peach!

Victory-gardenVisiting recently with Judy Jacoby, the coordinator of the San Diego Community Garden network, she said, “There are easily over 70 community gardens in San Diego and we learn of more every day. Some are for neighbors, some have lotteries, several are ethnic and growers choose their own crops.” I’ve seen the most pristine Asian green gardens planted so closely it’s hard to squeeze around rows, but clean enough to lick the blades of vegetables!

There are four community gardens run by students on the UCSD campus that have waiting lists. Students in campus housing are eager to know what they can grow on the balcony next to the wetsuit drying.

Earl's Garden UCSD Photo: Erika Johnson

Earl’s Garden UCSD Photo: Erika Johnson

A popular source for local and reliable gardening information can be found at SanDiegoMasterGardener. The Master Gardeners also staff a hotline Monday-Friday from 9-3 to answer questions; the phone number is 858-822- 6910.

They offer a seminar on March 22 this year wherein the public can attend up to three lectures and view demonstrations, best practices and a garden marketplace for all your garden needs.

Watch this column for further topics!

Susan L. Taylor, a San Diego native daughter, digs politics, urban agriculture, dogs and local beaches. Forever grad student of Latin America history, she speaks Spanish, Portuguese and teen-speak to the two boys still at home. Supports guerrilla, community and home gardening. Dreams of a beachhead along the Baja California coast and hopes that the grapes she grows will someday taste like red wine. Susan supports the restoration of Chollas Creek and is still a natural blonde.

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avatar Frances O'Neill Zimmerman February 2, 2014 at 7:10 pm

Love this column! Susan forgot to say that she herself is a Master Gardener who has filled her corner lot with many different varieties of fruit trees and grape vines and she keeps chickens in the backyard!

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