The Face Of Urban Farming In San Leandro

Two year old Dig Deep Farms getting wider attention.


San Leandro-based Dig Deep Farms is getting noticed as a leader in the national movement to revive the concept of the victory garden.

The group, now about two years old, has several growing sites in the area, including one next to the fire station on 164th Avenue and East 14th Street.

Among the program's claims to fame is a mention in the PBS "Food Forward" series.

One article about the series notes that "Dig Deep sells and delivers produce to local communities through its CSA (Community-Supported Agriculture) program and works in collaboration with Oakland's acclaimed Flora restaurant."

Patch caught up with Dig Deep at a recent sales event , and spoke with two of the group's urban farm hands (pictured above).

Thirty-four-year-old Pac Rucker (left) said he had worked as a warehouseman, janitor and stucco contractor before he joined Dig Deep last August.

A vegetarian for years, Rucker said, "I've learned so much about growing food and vegetables."

Twenty-five-year old Jarryd Smith (right) has been with Dig Deep for two years. "I'm one of the original employees," he said.

With no agricultural experience when he started, today he is one of the lead growers. Right now he's getting ready for the transition from cool-weather winter greens to summer fruits and vegetables.

"It can be hard, physical work, the digging and the weeding, but it's also meticulous at the same time," he said of farming.

Above all it's rewarding.

"Food is something serious that we can't live without," Smith said, adding, "I've had a few jobs but this is by far the most fun and different,"

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Cindy Colindres April 21, 2012 at 02:27 PM
I grew up in the Mission in San Francisco. I was a teenager when our school was part of one the first urban gardens grown on Potrero and Army Sts. I feel that every school, public or private, should show teens how to grow their own food. How imperative it is to eat food that is locally grown. I don't have anything against Chile, but I don't want to eat grapes that are grown so far away. Fremont has the best Avocados! San Leandro was famous for it's cherries. Salinas has strawberries,asparagus, artichokes and of course there is the garlic from Gilroy! We have lemons, limes and tomatoes growing around my neighborhood, here in downtown (sic) San Leandro! Rosemary and anise grow wild. We have it made, here in the Goldie Locks part of the Goldie Locks state!
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