How does your garden grow?
At City Hall the Mayor's Vegetable Garden grows from waist-high cement planter boxes.
What the setup may lack in visual appeal, it shines as a prime example of healthy living and the minimal space needed to grow fresh produce.
The Mayor's Garden began several years ago after the City made a series of sweeping budget cuts to the parks budget, resulting in the loss of some of the department’s landscaping funds. The program is now under the direction of Kelly Beymer, parks and golf course director.
“We recognized that this was an opportunity to lead by example to promote healthy lifestyles and eating more fresh foods,” said Terry Higashiyama, community services administrator. “Each Department in the City adopted a planter in front of City Hall and we created the Mayor's Vegetable Gardens. It is exciting to see the many visitors to City Hall pick a tomato or stop to smell the many herbs that are planted on their way into the building.”
What better way to make lemons into lemonade?
At the end of each season, the participating departments share a healthy lunch, which includes ingredients from the planter boxes.
“Hopefully we are showing people how easy it is to grow vegetables and herbs and what little space is needed,” she said.
The gardening duties rest on the staff representatives, and they do a great job maintaining the planters.
“It is not unusual to see many of them stopping by on the weekend to water their plants, Higashiyama said.