Saturday, August 9, 2008

Slow San Francisco

I'm sure all you foodies have heard that Slow Food Nation is coming to San Francisco this Labor Day weekend and that the mayor of our fine city has ordered the planting of a slow food garden in front of City Hall, the first since the Victory gardens of WWII.

I went out to see the garden last week and was amazed by the transformation of the area from a somewhat boring park with a spectacular backdrop to a sort of sun-drenched, out-sized labyrinth with tourists and locals wandering the paths like contemplative clergy.

As a newbie to home gardening, I have to admit that I was somewhat discouraged by the beautiful plantings spread out in front of our splendid City Hall. My own plants have been in my little patch of ground for far longer than these and yet they are paltry by comparison with the vigorous, almost muscular, plants in the Slow Food garden. Laid out in circular raised beds edged with straw-filled burlap, these plants are simply beautiful, as formal and organized as an Italian garden and as healthy as the children playing loudly in the nearby playground.

I hope this garden will inspire some folks to take to heart the Slow Food message of eating fresh, locally grown food, cooking it with care and serving it to people you care about, then eating it in a leisurely, appreciative manner. The Slow On The Go part of the festival seems somewhat counterproductive but I guess you can't expect Americans to slow down all at once.

The festival seems like a fitting way to spread the message and to say thank you to Alice Waters, Michael Pollan, Barbara Kingsolver, among others, and most of all, to Carlo Petrini whose reaction to the opening of a McDonald's in his native Italy was to encourage the opposite of fast food.



Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Don't feel bad about your garden. Heck, most of the plants they put in at Civic Center were already a little ::cough:: Mature.

Saturday, August 09, 2008  
Blogger Greg said...

My Marin garden is lacking this year too. Hoping for a storm of tomatoes yet to come. I am having a hard time getting behing the Slow Food event. Seems like another festival designed to grab money from my wallet.

Saturday, August 09, 2008  
Blogger Sweet Bird said...

I've got something in the works to where I might get to attend Slow Food for free. That's def the only way I could attend. And with the summer we're having, I'm shocked I even got a couple I'm sure your garden is doing much better than mine.

Saturday, August 09, 2008  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Cookiecrumb, kind words, thanks.

Greg, I'm not much for crowds of people, so I probably won't go either, but I'm happy that the movement is getting some air and ink.

Sweetbird, I'll keep my fingers crossed that your free pass comes through!

Sunday, August 10, 2008  
Blogger kudzu said...

I second Cookie's (cough) opinion. Pix of the planters showed them installing big old plants almost ready to harvest. That's fine by me. Don't let it discourage you!

As for SFN, there will be many parts of it that will be free to all comers. Check out the website to see which ones.

Sunday, August 10, 2008  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Kudzu, thanks for the encouragement - I do have two small tomatoes slowly turning red...

Sunday, August 10, 2008  
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Tuesday, August 12, 2008  

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