Community Gardening in San Jose

Title text: Shelter in the Greatest Place overlaid a triplicate photo of Brian gardening in San Jose.

Get a tour of Brian Vonderhaar's (Campbell's Bike Department Manager) plot in his local community garden in San Jose.

The city of San Jose has a very cool organic gardening program that residents of the city have been participating in for decades.  After a few years on a waiting list, my wife and I finally have a plot for the first time this year! We have been working quite hard to get everything together for the season. The garden is located about half a mile from our apartment so it is nice to take a daily neighborhood walk to the garden.

It was a little overcast today, but the plants have been loving the rain! There are about 30 plots in this particular garden– some have full sun, some are partially shaded allowing for a wide variety of plants. 

Photo of lush garden.

This garden also has bee hives, gotta love on-site pollinators!  The third smaller box was new to the garden as bee numbers increase in the spring.

Ever wonder what happens to all the yard waste collected curbside every week?  San Jose turns it into some mighty fine compost….black gold! After mixing some of this into your soil, very few additional inputs are needed for a nutrient rich and healthy environment for veggies to thrive. 

Mound of compost

Today’s focus was to get a soaker hose in place in our bed with peppers, tomatoes, carrots and some herbs and flowers to make watering easier this summer, and to install some cages on the tomato plants while we can. We had the materials on hand already. This soaker hose will make watering a breeze this summer and allow us to focus on other tasks in the garden while it is watering the plants.

Testing it out!  Here is a closeup of some carrots we have going, and recently caged tomato plants…Getting the cages in position was a two person job for sure!  

Upclose of plants and hose.

We are excited to see how it all turns out and will hopefully be eating tasty home grown veggies in a couple months! The benefits of gardening are numerous but for me I love the relationship developed between me and the plants by taking care of them and watching their progress, and the sense of risk and accomplishment, all while being out in nature, even in the middle of an urban metropolis!

For more information, check out the city of San Jose’s Community Garden website.

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