Thursday, January 23, 2014

Bloom of Bayview

Diversity in Bayview includes plants
Did you know the roots of the coast redwood tree (scientific name: Sequoia sempervirens) don’t go deeper than 12 feet into the ground, even though they are the tallest trees in the world? (San Francisco City Hall = 308 feet; Tallest redwood = 379 feet)

Being so top heavy, redwoods must intertwine their roots with other nearby trees so they don’t blow over when the wind kicks up. On the other hand, some plants choose to go deep instead, such as the garden-variety carrot (Daucus carota), which can push its thin, hair-like taproot into the soil up to 7 feet deep for stability.

Then there is mycelium (pronounced mahy-see-lee-uh-m) – the white thread-like bits you find when digging in moist topsoil. As it turns out, nearly every plant on earth has a special relationship with fungi where its root-like mycelium delivers water and essential nutrients to the plants’ roots in exchange for the carbs the plants make through photosynthesis.

Just as there is a huge diversity in the way plants make and use their roots, there are as many types of gardeners here in Bayview. Some gardeners like to plant in rows, others plant where there is a need for color.

Personally, I’m a lazy gardener, allowing many of my plants to grow until their seeds mature and reseed for the next year. Some of my neighbors on Silver Terrace seem to keep after their backyard gardens more actively. I can see plants that look like they have received regular attention: a walnut tree, rose bushes, nopales, citrus, chickens, and a host of other vegetables, fruits and flowers.

While most of us enjoy simply going ‘our own way’ in our gardens, perhaps we can be more successful if we join forces - just like the redwoods that support each other and the mycelium that shares its resources with nearby plants.

I recently attended a few SEFA urban agriculture-focused events, and at each there was a call by 94124 gardeners for more sharing of resources so we don’t keep “reinventing the wheel.” Thus, a few of us 94124 gardeners have decided to use existing local resources to help address this need.

To start, Bayview Footprints is hosting this monthly garden-related column, which will include garden and event spotlights, local news, seasonal planting guides, interviews with residents, and more. Quesada Gardens’ neighbors are also working on getting a bulletin board or virtual “Trading Post” on the community portal website so that we can all post garden-related items we need or have to share.

We also would like to invite you to be a part of the first in-person “Trading Post.” Starting on February 6th, we will be hosting a table once a month at the Bayview Underground Food Scene Pop-Up Market, where southeast gardeners can meet, share resources (Got extra greens? Got a truck to haul compost? Got a sore back? Yeah, me too!), and discuss what is or isn’t working in our gardens. We expect to have occasional expert special guests. Bring your pruning shears to the February 6th event. We’ll have a file you can use for sharpening.

Please note that, while a variety of vendors are at the Bayview Opera House every Thursday from 5 to 7:30 pm, we will be there only the first Thursday of the month. If all goes well, we hope to start meeting once a month at a different Bayview garden to give a helping hand while sharing and learning together.

Come join us at the first Trading Post on February 6th – and just like those redwood trees, let’s stand tall and support each other. Welcome to the Bloom of Bayview.


Anonymous said...

Yay! I am excited to meet fellow gardeners and swap our seeds!

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to meet fellow gardeners and swap some seeds and ideas.