Tina Calloway, creator and owner of Urban Farmgirls talks about the birth of an urban farmgirl in Bayview. From England to a community garden in Bernal Heights, mother and daughter plant Bok Choy and a dream takes roots in Bayview. This urban garden story has been planted and it’s growing quite well.
Q: How did you come up with your name, Urban FarmGirls?
TC: The name for Urban FarmGirls came about when my daughter and I used to have a plot in a community garden in Bernal Heights where we would grow our vegetable garden. My 8-year-old daughter, Maddie, would say we were like “Urban FarmGirls”. Her favorite crop to plant was bok choy.
The girl in the Urban FarmGirls logo is actually my daughter when she was 10. My friend, Paul Huber, who did all the graphics for my company came up with the idea to take a photo of Maddie and turn it into a Graphic. I wanted the company logo to have a British farm girl feel /postwar poster style because I am from England, and yet I wanted it to be relevant to San Francisco, because I have lived here for over 15yrs.
Q: What plants do you recommend for edible gardens in BVHP area?
TC: Edibles that like more sun & heat. Because it is sunnier in the Bayview, you can plant things that have a harder time maturing in other parts of the city – due to the fog. San Francisco is quite unique because it is a temperate climate and we have micro-climates all over the city. Right now in our garden gallery I have tomatoes going potatoes in sacks and sweet peas starting to grow up a bamboo trellis. I have lettuce growing in shadier spots and I am getting ready to plant more edibles.
Q: What are your top 2 favorite products for urban gardens or patios and why?
TC: 1) Pozzola vertical garden plank – because you can plant herbs in it for cooking in the kitchen and 2) The Succulent Athena Living Wreath – because it is a great way to decorate your front door year around with something living.
Q: Any new products or services that you are working on now, or upcoming (San Francisco) events that you could share with our readers?
Tina Calloway: Our newest products are the vertical garden plank, pozzola birdbaths and the pozzola patio planter tables. We really enjoy Al De La Rosa’s orbs (artisan that Urban FarmGirls collaborates). We sell his orbs at the garden gallery. We also collaborate with John Greenlee of Greenlee and Associates out of Brisbane. We sell his plant specimens that he grows in a nursery in LA. Some varieties we sell are Buddha’s Belly Bamboo, Tiger grass and non-trunking plams which are all good for urban landscapes and small spaces.
Q: A final, but all important question. What inspires you most?
TC: There are a lot of things that inspire me about having a Gardening & Design Company, but I would say it is the relationship that you develop with your clients and customers, helping them create something beautiful in their gardens, whether it is with one of our garden products or a complete garden design project. It brings me a lot of joy to help people with their outdoor living spaces.