Category Archives: Episcopal Community Services

First Harvests at the Episcopal Community Services’ Sanctuary Garden!

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Soil Delivery to Sanctuary Shelter!

Thursday, June 17th, we received a discounted soil delivery from Broadmoor.  All our beds have been built from scavenged lumber (mostly redwood), and are now ready for planting.  Many thanks to the volunteers to came to move soil.  Next thursday–planting begins!

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Mulch arrives at Sanctuary Shelter!

The garden space behind ECS Sanctuary Shelter underwent a magnificent transformation today.  About 13 cubic yards of very fine mulch was delivered by Bayview Greenwaste (a tremendous source for FREE woodchips and mulch).


My friend Ryan, founder of Fixed Studios, wheelbarrows a load of mulch.  Ryan has volunteered countless hrs to help get this garden up and running.  Below he assembles one of our new redwood planters (from salvaged SF Dump wood).  Known for his attention to detail,  even let me use the super fancy saw at his shop.

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Planting Continues at Sanctuary Shelter with the help of the Oregon Extension

On Saturday, November 14th, about a dozen college students from the Oregon Extension teamed up with ECS clients to plant a variety of brassicas.

About a half dozen upstart cauliflower plants, some young cabbages, and several kinds of flowering kale were all eager to get out of their pots and into fresh soil!

The kale and cabbage were kindly donated by the garden department at Cole Hardware, which needed to make room for a new shipment of poinsettias. (I guess its that time of year…)  Wendy Johnson provided the cauliflower which came from the Green Gulch Farm Zen Center greenhouse.  The rain held off until the very last plant was in the ground.  Then the skies opened up!

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Planting Begins at Sanctuary Shelter!

On Saturday November 7th I had the privilege of visiting the Edible School Yard in Berkeley, where I met up with Wendy Johnson.  Wendy took an interest in our project and was kind enough to donate all the lettuce and herbs for our first planting.  On Sunday November 8th the Grace Cathedral youth confirmation class joined a group of dedicated ECS clients for the inaugural planting at the Sanctuary!  Soil was flying, as the team got busy in a veritable planting frenzy!

We filled one raised bed planter with lettuce starts and a prominently displayed marigold.  In a variety plastic containers (salvaged from SF Dump) we repotted thyme, oregano, spearmint, and three different kinds of sage.

proud of a day's work

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Sanctuary Shelter Community Garden

The Sanctuary is an emergency shelter managed by Episcopal Community Services of San Francisco. Located at the corner of 8th and Howard St, the Sanctuary provides housing, support, and program activities for 200 adult clients (75 women and 125 men) for periods ranging from 3-90 days.

Viviana Martinez, Director of Shelters, has decided that a garden would provide an additional place of rest, nurture, and healing for Sanctuary clients. A native of Peru, Viviana mourns our loss of connection to natural places. It is Viviana’s hope that clients will draw strength from connecting with life-sustaining processes, and that by learning to take care of plants, we might all become more attentive to taking care of ourselves and eachother.

Clients will join teams of outside volunteers to build and maintain this parking lot garden. Together we will turn a 28’x28′ corner of the parking lot into a living, vibrant, beautiful raised bed garden.

This space will be used to grow vegetables, herbs, and flowers, creating a sanctuary within a sanctuary. Kitchen Manager, Kuulani Imira, will use produce from the garden in the shelter kitchen, and the garden will serve as space for other shelter programs.

On Wednesday November 4th, ten volunteers began to clean and transform the space, painting the surrounding walls with free paint which was salvaged from the SF Dump.

Want to Volunteer!?

If you or your community would like to volunteer time in the garden, or are in a position to donate financial or other material resources for this and similar gardens please contact griff[at]diocal[dot]org

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