CIVIC CENTER URBAN FARMING – On Scene With Bill Wilson

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Mayor Newsom, and Astrid Haryati, Mayor’s Greening Director,
listen to remarks at the planting ceremony at Larkin and McAllister.
Photo By Bill Wilson © 2010

BY BILL WILSON
Sentinel Photojournalist
Bill Wilson © 2010

Community gardens have long been a part of the San Francisco landscape. The newest was inaugurated March 23. Mayor Gavin Newsom turned the first shovel of dirt in the land at the northeast corner of McAllister and Larkin. Currently the site of the Civic Center Power House the City and County of San Francisco has entered a lease with Urban Farming, in partnership Tenderloin Economic Development to occupy the land until January, 2011. Urban Farming was founded in 2005 by recording artist, Taja Sevelle with three gardens and has grown into an organization that supports over 750 community based farms across the country and abroad.

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The plot awaiting plants at the northeast corner of McAllister and Larkin.
Photo By Bill Wilson © 2010

The garden is a direct result of Mayor Newsom’s directive last July requiring all city departments to conduct an audit of unused land that could be converted into gardens.

“There is no better preventative medicine and no easier way to reduce health care costs for the long term that teaching our resident and children to eat healthier,” said Mayor Newsom making the connection between the President’s signing of the health care reform bill in Washington, DC and Newsom’s efforts to make people aware of the healthy choices they can make.

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Mayor Newsom uses a golden shovel to dig the hole for the first plant.
Photo By Bill Wilson © 2010

Urban Farming has partnered with Kraft brand /Triscuit/ to provide soil, plant material seedling and part time staff to support the community garden as part of their efforts to promote Home Farming. To help get eople started four million packages of original and reduced fat /Triscuit/ include cards with either dill or basil seeds that can be planted directly into the ground. There are several websites that can be accessed with information for beginning gardeners. www.urbanfarming.org or www.triscuit.com/homefarming

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The planting completed.
Photo By Bill Wilson © 2010

Mayor Newsom also announced that entries to the urban agriculture design contest “Digging Deeper, Building Blocks for Sustainable Design,” are now available for public view. The City helped launch the competition last fall seeking innovative designs related to urban agriculture. The contest is intended to promote a more innovative approach to addressing local food and urban agriculture issues. Submissions include Chicken Cribs – billed as “the quick and easy, self-assembly urban chicken coop” and Mobile Markets, carts stocked with produce that can easily be taken to any busy locale.

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Mayor Gavin Newsom
Photo By Bill Wilson © 2010

The competition is sponsored by Autodesk, and by a coalition of design professionals working in collaboration with the Mayor’s office. The design coalition includes the SF Chapter of the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA), the American Institute of Graphic Artists (AIGA), and the Interaction Designers Association (IxDA).

The public is invited to visit the Digging Deeper web-site to view all of the ideas and to vote on their favorite ideas in the next 14 days. For moreinformation, please visit: diggingdeepersf.ning.com.

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See Related: ON SCENE WITH BILL WILSON ARCHIVE

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BILL WILSON
Sentinel Photojournalist
Bill Wilson is a San Francisco-based veteran photojournalist. Bill embraced photojournalism at the age of eight. In recent years, his photos capture historic record of the San Francisco LGBT community in the Bay Area Reporter (BAR), The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The San Francisco Examiner, SFist, SFAppeal. Bill has contributed to the Sentinel for the past six years. Email Bill Wilson at wfwilson@sbcglobal.net.


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