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Tending our gardens

Bill Murphy and the Corwin Street Community Garden

Sometimes, you just have to get your hands dirty.

For me, that mostly means finding strata of food under my nails after a sweaty day in the kitchen. But on a chilly morning in December, my hands got dirty with real, actual, honest-to-god dirt. As in, from the earth.

Me and dirt are like oil and water. Gardening is not something I have an innate passion for, but there is one garden I have a soft spot for. Tucked between modern apartment buildings on a dead-end street on the slopes of Eureka Valley, the Corwin Street Community Garden is more than a patch of pretty flowers.

As a tour guide in the neighborhood, I often drag my more ambitious groups up the steep incline to the garden and to the Seward Mini-park below. Here, deep in the residential tracts and close to the geographic heart of the city, they offer surprising morsels of our city's history.

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Herb-an sprawl


Hi. My name is Sean, and I am a basilholic. Mere hours after I composed my mash note to basil, I went out running errands. I popped into Trader Joe’s for some Gerolsteiner sparkling water (mmm…) and a bunch of ridiculously cheap wine. So imagine my surprise when I saw they were selling ginormous basil plants in gallon buckets for, like, three bucks. So I did what any rational person would do. I bought two, and went forthwith to the garden store for another bracket and window box. Now, odds are that I’ve crammed too large of basil plants into too small of a window box, but as long as they live long enough to squeak out some pesto or something, I consider it money well spent.

It’s been nearly a month since I planted the other window boxes, and they’re doing quite well, too. However, I think they may develop an inferiority complex being stationed next to these goliath herbs. A couple more pics after the jump.

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Herb-an gardening

We have no backyard to speak of, but we do have an exterior stairway in the back. As we are on the top floor, even the landing between our unit and the second floor is high enough that we get full sun pretty much all day.

But I finally decided to make use of all that sun power, otherwise going to waste, by planting a little herb garden. (All the better for this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging hosted this week on Absolutely Green!) Well, actually two. In these two diminutive boxes (I may add more later), I have just planted sweet basil, rosemary, sage, Greek and Italian oregano and silver thyme. Because of the limited space available, I may never manage to farm enough herbage to make, say, pesto, but it will be nice to have the ability to take a pinch of something here and there whilst cooking. For a little added color, DPaul also composed a little box of flowers at the top, which we can enjoy from the kitchen, bedroom and office. More shots after the jump.

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