The RCD of Greater San Diego County, in partnership with the County of San Diego, manages the largest community garden in San Diego County. The Tijuana River Valley Community Garden is located at the corner of Hollister Street and Sunset Avenue, in the southernmost portion of San Diego. The Tijuana River Valley Regional Park spreads over five acres of land, and there are 136 garden plots.
Members of the community garden come from all walks of life. On any given day, you can hear 3 or 4 different languages being spoken. This diversity manifests itself in the crops that grow in the garden plots - Nopales, Laotian Cucumbers, Heirloom Tomatoes, etc. Young and old help each other, trading gardening advice, time, and the fruits of their labor - literally! Many gardeners are apartment dwellers, who relish the opportunity to get out into the fresh air and work the land.
A community garden fosters many wonderful things, such as increased consumption of fruits and vegetables to combat malnutrition and obesity. Gardeners have also commented on the therapeutic benefits of caring for their plants and experiencing the reward of their time and effort.
There is currently a waiting list for plots. If you live in the South Bay area, and would like to add your name to the waiting list, please contact Ann Baldridge at (619) 562-0096.
If you do not have a backyard of your own or are on the waiting list for a plot, there are plenty of other ways to help make your community a healthy environment. Volunteer with local organizations that are working to preserve habitat, clean up polluted waters, or transform empty city lots from junkyards to community gardens. For a list of community gardens in San Diego, visit the San Diego Community Garden Network.