Little City Gardens in bloom

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Photos by Bowerbird Photography

“This is a secret magic place in the city,” said Bonnie, a volunteer at Little City Gardens. She crouched over a bed of orange and yellow marigolds, lovingly forming them into golden bouquets.

After tromping around the one acre farm, made up of several city lots and surrounded by family homes, Sam Love and I could tell that, yes, this was a magic place. There were watchful birds, gigantic bees, plump artichokes, and baby chives growing under tents shaped by old bike tire frames.

I got the owners of the garden, Brooke and Caitlyn, to stop in front of their adorable handcrafted greenhouse for a portrait together before they hurried off to continue snipping salad greens. It was a busy day at the garden because they had to finish harvesting in time for that evening's farmers' market in the Mission. Can't get fresher than that!

In addition to selling produce at the market, the Little City Garden distributes CSA boxes and supplies local restaurants with incredibly local greens. Brooke and Caitlyn describe what they're doing as an agriculture experiment to see if it's possible for two people to eke a living off a little farm in the big city. Transforming a vacant lot into a thriving vegetable garden takes time, ingenuity and lots of hard work (not to mention a green thumb), but when the result is the thriving and vibrant Little City Gardens, it seems well worth the effort. Imagine if every city block had its own urban garden and all your neighbors could get their salad greens from just around the corner. A beautiful dream that Little City Gardens will hopefully make just a little more possible for all of us.