A Day in the Dirt

A glimpse of green in a sea of gray: Three community gardens thrive in urban San Francisco


Community members work together to make their garden a successful and useful resource, benefiting the neighborhood in a variety of ways.

Located at the corner of Larkin and McAllister streets sits a community garden in lieu of a grocery store with a produce section. The Tenderloin is one of the San Francisco neighborhoods classified as a “food desert,” which motivated the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation (TNDC) to create a space for the community to grow their own. Community gardens can now be seen inhabiting many diverse communities across the area of San Francisco.


A hanging garden was installed to utilize limited space. Marcela Ot inspects a plant growing inside one of the fabric pouches that is typical of a hanging garden. In an urban environment, hanging gardens ensure that smaller plants such as herbs and succulents have adequate light.


Golden light bathes Henry Wimmer as he ends the day watching the sunset over Potrero Hill Community Garden. Wimmer has lived in the neighborhood since the 1990s and frequents the gardens weekly.


Located at 780 San Bruno Ave., Potrero Hill Community Garden was established in the early 1970s and is a great location for a community garden with stunning views and beautiful light.