Treasure Island residents enjoy ‘ultra-local’ produce from LLA garden

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Organic Opportunities Garden provides free produce and recipes for LLA neighbors

By Justin Warren


In a ‘food desert’, or, as it were, a desert island, it can be impossible to ‘eat local.’ But new growth and ripe harvests mean fresh produce for neighboring Treasure Island residents, thanks to LLA’s Organic Opportunities students.

For the past eight years, LLA has offered free, monthly produce deliveries to low-income members of the Treasure Island community, along with recipes, nutrition information, and updates about the student-run garden program.

“It felt good, because we’re giving to them,” said LLA student Kayla Cortez. “People were really excited,” to receive their deliveries, she said, explaining that one recipient even gave them small plants in a gesture of appreciation.

Last week, a total of eight households each received roughly 12 pounds of fresh vegetables, fruit and herbs grown by students in LLA’s certified organic raised beds.

Cortez, an island resident herself, noted how tough it is to get fresh produce on the island, which has no grocery store. “It’s hard because we have to go out,” to other San Francisco supermarkets, “and sometimes we just don’t have time.”

The idea of growing produce and eating local is catching on.

According to LLA Garden teacher Karuna Holm, one island resident who receives LLA’s produce offering is now working with the community to kick off her own community garden. “We hope to support them once they are ready for plants and advice,” Holm said.

In the meantime, LLA students nurture the ripening harvest, and prepare for another month of giving.


For info about receiving free, student-grown organic produce from LLA, send us a message to


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Delivered this month:


Lemon Cucumbers

Cabbage or Zucchini



Rainbow Chard




Rosemary, Mint, Sage

Fava Beans

Spicy Jalapenos

Sweet peppers


Recipe of the Week:

Pumpkin Curry

1 1/2 lbs pumpkin, cut into cubes

1 large onion, sliced

6 button mushrooms, sliced

2 green chilies, finely sliced

2 red chilies, finely sliced

5 cloves garlic, minced

300 ml coconut milk

1 cup water

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 inch ginger, grated

butter (for frying)



  1. Mix the chilies, garlic, ginger, spices, water and coconut milk on a bowl.
  2. Get a large frying pan and heat a bit of butter in it.
  3. Put the pumpkin cubes, mushrooms and onions into the pan and sauté for a few minutes until the onions start to soften.
  4. Then add the coconut mixture then bring the boil then reduce heat and simmer until the pumpkin is tender but not overcooked.
  5. Depending on how large your cubes of pumpkin are, you may need to add more water, 1/2 cup at a time, to keep the pan from getting too dry.
  6. When the pumpkin is cooked and the sauce is thick, take off the heat and let sit for two minutes.
  7. Add a bit of salt, if desired.
  8. Serve over plain white rice
  9. You may also like a handful of raisins in the curry, or on the side to help counterbalance the heat