Community Gardens Along the BART Tracks

A walk past a community garden in the Bay Area is pleasant at any time of the year. Even in the middle of winter, the weather is mild enough for greens and root vegetables to survive and grow a bit. But fall is an especially fun time to see what is happening in the gardens. Pumpkins are still on the vine, tomatoes and peppers are making a final push, and some of the other vegetables are starting to die down to the ground. There are several community gardens in Berkeley, many of which are part of the Berkeley Community Gardening Collaborative. The gardens are open to the public for several hours each week, and most welcome volunteers at garden workdays.

The once barren piece of land on the BART right-of-way at Hopkins and Peralta streets is now the site of a trio of community gardens — Peralta, Northside, and Karl Linn. Thanks to landscape architect and community activist Karl Linn (who passed away in 2005) and a host of volunteers, this land is now filled with vegetable plots, herbs, fruit trees, and native plants.

A 10th anniversary party was recently held at the Peralta Community Garden, which — in addition to garden plots and an herb and native plant circle — showcases a variety of sculpture, paintings, metalwork, and other pieces by local artists. The documentary film A Lot in Common tells the story of the garden. Connecting to Peralta is the Northside Garden, which features a beautiful straw bale toolshed. Across the street is the Karl Linn Garden and the EcoHouse, with a permaculture demonstration garden. And outside the gardens, California Habitats Indigenous Activists (CHIA) has been restoring a section of the Ohlone Greenway with local native plants.

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2 Comments »

  1. Spike said

    Love the toolshed.

  2. Sounds great. Wish I’d known of that party. I think the Peralta Community Garden is the most beautiful community garden I’ve ever seen.

    Hadn’t heard of “A Lot in Common”. Went to Bullfrog’s site and it costs $95 just to rent it! So much for grassroots… That’s more like hybrid tea rose scions…

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