The high harvest - Page 2

Glide Community House plants produce atop the Tenderloin

Glide Community House and Tenderloin resident Patty Rose tends her greens:"We finally have the backyard we've always wanted"

"Look at this," Van Brunt, an energetic woman whose father's landscaping career left her with a severe aversion to seeing mistreated plants, is pointing at a vertical potato cage that doesn't seem to be producing the same bushy green leafs as its neighbor. "They overwatered it! It's our first year, we're still finding a lot of things out."

But these kinds of small setbacks show that the garden is being used — and often, they lead to new discoveries in and of themselves. The aforementioned rotting potato cage attracted the notice of the roof's nightcrawlers, which must have scooted the 10 feet between their two massive bins to the cage, where they were discovered by Van Brunt.

The composting process in the worm bins is now one of her favorite parts of the garden. With the aid of Medders, she lifts the heavy metal lid of one of the bins and pulls aside the shredded newspaper piled on top of the composting material. Underneath, there is a teeming, squirming mass of pink worms. Van Brunt tenderly fingers a handful of them. "Look at that, are they really breeding in there? The nastier it is, the more they like it," she says, exhibiting the satisfaction of a woman who has taken charge of her food system.

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