Golden Gate Park Community Garden

Growing at 780 Frederick St, San Francisco, since 2013

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Celebrate the New Year with Chocolate Chip Cookies and Some Garden Prep

The first week of 2017 looks set to bring lots of rain to the Bay Area and snow to the Sierra Nevada, topping up the reserves that California will be relying on all year. We’re hoping the skies will clear in time for our next garden workday—drop in any time between 10am and 1pm on Sunday, January 8. We’ll be turning the compost, clearing the paths and generally putting the garden in shape for the new year.

cover_cropWhenever you manage to make it out to the garden, January is a good time to prepare for the year ahead. Some crops will germinate in the cold and wet of January, like leeks, onions and the more hardy greens. But if you’re planning to dedicate some of your 2017 plot space to warm-weather crops, like tomatoes and zucchini, you won’t be planting until April at the earliest. In the meantime, you have plenty of time to plant a cover crop. Cover crops are typically legumes like field peas, beans and clover that will germinate and grow to maturity in 60–90 days and add nitrogen to your soil to boost the growth of your summer crops. With these legumes, much of the benefit comes from the nitrogen-fixing nodules in their roots. Another popular cover crop component is oats, which will grow fast and add more organic material.

The idea is that you plant the cover crop in the fall or winter and cut it shortly before you’re ready to plant your main crop in the spring. After leaving it to dry on the surface for a couple of days, you dig in the dead vegetation as you prepare the soil for your main crop. If you do sow seeds now, consider protecting them for a week of two with some “floating” row cover—basically any sort of translucent, water-permeable fabric that you can stake on top of the soil. This will keep the soil a little warmer encouraging your seedlings to germinate, and also protects them from birds—pigeons love to snack on peas in a newly seeded plot.

Then reward your hard work with these tasty chocolate chip cookies, as baked by Lucy Fisher for the garden’s anniversary party in October.



  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  •  cups oatmeal
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 12 ounces chocolate chips
  • 1 4-ounce milk chocolate bar
  •  cups chopped nuts
    1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
    2. Cream together butter and both sugars. Stir in eggs and vanilla.
    3. Finely grind oatmeal in a blender or food processor. Combine the oatmeal, flour, salt, baking powder and soda in a medium bowl, and slowly add it to the wet ingredients. Beat just until combined. Grate chocolate bar using a microplane grater and add it, along with chocolate chips and nuts to the batter. Mix just to combine.
    4. Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls, 2 inches apart, on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes



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Sat Sep 24, Open Gardens Day + Sun Oct 23, Anniversary Party

Moving into the warmer days of fall, we have two big events happening at the garden both of which give you a great opportunity to come out and meet your fellow gardeners.

gardenSaturday September 24 is the San Francisco Open Gardens Day. Our garden is one of 16 community gardens that will be open to the public from 9am to 2pm. There’s a map here (PDF) of all the participating gardens.

Please come out and participate by working on your plot, attending the Composting Workshop at 10am, participating in the garden workday, or giving garden tours. Two lucky gardeners will walk away with “Backyard Composting” books that we will raffle off after the workshop.

Our garden will be in the spotlight at this year’s Open Gardens Day and there is a chance you will be interviewed by the media. The event schedule is listed below:

9am Event kickoff

All day activities

Garden tours, led by Julie, Toni and Rupert. Meet at info table.

New Traditions School Garden (volunteers on hand for questions)

Root View Activity (all ages)

Plant A Seedling (K-12)

Informational Kiosk

10am-11am Compost workshop by Toni Moran

10am-1pm  Bee-centric demonstration and Q&A with Planet Bee

11am onwards Bike tour organized by SF Urban Ag Alliance arrives at their final stop, the commUNITY garden

11:30am-12:30pm Preserving the Seasons’ Harvest. Lecture and demonstration by Mei Ling Hui on behalf of the Master Food Preserver Program UC Cooperative Extension

2pm Event close

harvest-cropSunday October 23 will be our 3rd Anniversary Party. We will start the day with compost harvesting and give-away, followed by a potluck lunch, and wrapping up with our annual membership meeting. Members will receive an event evite soon. Please respond by Oct 13.

We are looking for volunteers to help set-up and host children activities during the event. Contact Toni at if you can help. More event details will be posted here and at the site in mid-October.  Happy Gardening.

Here are all the events for your calendars:

Date Hours Activities Work Day Leads
September 24, 2016
9am – 2pm
  • Open Gardens Day
Toni (9–1)

Julie, Rupert (11–1)

October 2, 2016
10am – 12pm
  • Composting
  • General Site Management
October 23, 2016SAVE THE DATE
11am – 2pm
  • Garden Anniversary
  • Compost Harvest/Give-Away
  • Potluck Lunch
  • General Meeting
  • Workday – 11am – 12pm
Toni, Dorrie, Julie, Phil, Rupert, Betty

Contact Toni at  if have questions about any of the work dates.

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Upcoming work days, Open Gardens and party

As we roll through a pretty typical foggy August towards the sun and warmth of September, there are plenty of opportunities to come out to the garden and meet your fellow plot holders.
We have added new work days in August, September and October when you welcome to come and help out as long as you like (no need to commit for the full time) or just swing by to say hello to some fellow gardeners.
We also want to draw your attention to two special events this fall: Saturday September 24 is the San Francisco Open Gardens Day – we’ll be participating and sharing our space with the community. Stay tuned for more information about workshops and ways that you can help with this event. On Sunday October 23, we’re going to be hosting a Garden Anniversary Party and annual membership meeting – more details coming soon on that as well.
Here are all the events for your calendars:
Date Hours Activities Work Day Leads
August 21, 2016
9:00 AM –
11:00 AM
Composting, General Site Mgmt. Toni, Michelle, Dorrie
August 29, 2016
9:00 AM –
11:00 AM
Composting, General Site Mgmt. Michelle, Toni
September 19, 2016
9:00 AM –
11:00 AM
Composting, General Site Mgmt. Toni, Dorrie, Julie R.
September 24, 2016


9:00 AM –
1:00 PM
Citywide “Open Garden Day”  

Composting Workshop and Garden Tours

Toni (9–11)

Julie and Rupert 11–1

October 2, 2016
10:00 AM –
12:00 PM
Composting, General Site Mgmt. Toni, Phil
October 23, 2016


10:00 AM –
12:00 PM
Party to follow
Garden Anniversary Party and Meeting


Toni, Dorrie, Julie, Phil, Rupert, Betty

And, if you have particular skill with sharpening/repairing our garden tools, or repairing our damaged hoses, we’d love to hear from you. Contact Toni at if you can help put with any of those repair jobs, or if you have questions about any of the work dates.

Happy harvesting!