Gardening, impact, scale and community.

When you hear the words “That looks great! lets make a dozen of them!” you instantly build a community of people to come together to make it happen.

I was in conversation with a fellow patio gardener like myself about gardening scale and its impact to the community. We both had a small container garden in our patios, with mostly kitchen veggies and small herbs. It is a small and  manageable garden at a scale that we could manage. The yield is nominal, it is a hobby garden and it brings immense joy and satisfaction to my life. But it was not enough to feed even half a meal per week for even one of our families! Now, if I were to build and grow this garden to feed a community, the task is impossible to do within my home, family or friends. This type of work needs a community. That kind of impact needs dedication and effort.

I’m in awe of local restaurants like StemSF which does exactly the kind of thing that perhaps comes a little close to what can be achieved to the notion of Farm to Table setting.

A historic nursery near our home called the Niles rose garden has a community garden called Fremont LEAF center. One can rent half a planter for $109 per year. This model works at the scale of the local community, to bring them together to participate in a local nursery while gaining yield on their kitchen garden and produce. This might help patio gardeners like me, with the price and the amenities included, it might actually work.

If I were to scale it up, similar to the large swaths of backyard spaces that all the suburban homes have in America, the fact that there is abundant land for community impact is non negotiable. The irony of all of this is that it is private land, where the value of private ownership is so precious that if a single fruit tree gives abundant yield in a given year, not many neighbors even have block parties or go to the nearest farmers market to sell them/give them away to the needy.


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