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Grow your own veggies at La Casita

City College standby will be the scene of a new experiment

A downtown restaurant growing its own tomatoes, veggies, grapes in its yard?

Place

Casita

1247 C Street, San Diego

Sure, here at La Casita (1247 C Street, 619-531-0044). It's the li'l place that City College teachers and students have been cramming into for 30 years every lunchtime, along with city politicos.

I remember reading Emma Goldman's piece last year. Big changes were happening then. New owners, new equipment, new paint, new things on the menu.

María made my mini burrito

But now, looks like things have changed again. Big friendly guy Sergio Haro is at the counter.

"I bought La Casita two months ago. I think the previous partners might have had a disagreement, but when it came up for sale, I jumped. I have been working in restaurants 25 years in San Diego. This is just what I have been looking for."

I was glad they still have the mini-burritos - the student's friend - still going for $2.75 (less than half the full-size burrito's price) and with more flavors like al pastor and pollo asado.

Plus, really the fresh paint, new colors, smartened-up yard, they're great. I pay María my $2.75 for an Al Pastor mini-burrito, and $1.75 for a cup of joe and head out there. I mean, these "minis" are way big enough for any manjack.

So out in the yard, which climbs two levels up behind the converted carport that's the main patio right now, I can see the man has space. He tells me that gave him an idea. This space could be growing stuff.

The patios stretch way back. Plenty of room for gardens.
It's one acre , but cramped

"I got talking to two of the people who came in from the Sustainable Urban Agriculture department at City College. They have this urban farm they operate just a block up across the road...

"...And I had this idea, like 'What if you helped me start growing organic vegetables and fruit, like tomatoes, lettuce, even grape vines. Grow stuff we can actually use right here fresh in our recipes...' And they were very happy, because land to grow around here is kind of tight. So one of their teachers will come and we'll talk next Monday, I hope, and maybe next month we'll start getting our first tomatoes. Think of the salsas!"

This is gonna be great. For starters because they always say Mexican cooking is based on fresh everything. But also because townies like me see the direct connection. Mother Earth. She works. Life...IT works!

The burrito is rich, and wet. Maybe a touch salty, but delish. Takes me ten minutes to chomp through it. Talk about stuffed!

Then I start heading back towards the City College trolley stop. Can't stop thinking about the coming garden. I dunno. Gives you a certain feeling. Like, maybe there is hope for us all yet.

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A downtown restaurant growing its own tomatoes, veggies, grapes in its yard?

Place

Casita

1247 C Street, San Diego

Sure, here at La Casita (1247 C Street, 619-531-0044). It's the li'l place that City College teachers and students have been cramming into for 30 years every lunchtime, along with city politicos.

I remember reading Emma Goldman's piece last year. Big changes were happening then. New owners, new equipment, new paint, new things on the menu.

María made my mini burrito

But now, looks like things have changed again. Big friendly guy Sergio Haro is at the counter.

"I bought La Casita two months ago. I think the previous partners might have had a disagreement, but when it came up for sale, I jumped. I have been working in restaurants 25 years in San Diego. This is just what I have been looking for."

I was glad they still have the mini-burritos - the student's friend - still going for $2.75 (less than half the full-size burrito's price) and with more flavors like al pastor and pollo asado.

Plus, really the fresh paint, new colors, smartened-up yard, they're great. I pay María my $2.75 for an Al Pastor mini-burrito, and $1.75 for a cup of joe and head out there. I mean, these "minis" are way big enough for any manjack.

So out in the yard, which climbs two levels up behind the converted carport that's the main patio right now, I can see the man has space. He tells me that gave him an idea. This space could be growing stuff.

The patios stretch way back. Plenty of room for gardens.
It's one acre , but cramped

"I got talking to two of the people who came in from the Sustainable Urban Agriculture department at City College. They have this urban farm they operate just a block up across the road...

"...And I had this idea, like 'What if you helped me start growing organic vegetables and fruit, like tomatoes, lettuce, even grape vines. Grow stuff we can actually use right here fresh in our recipes...' And they were very happy, because land to grow around here is kind of tight. So one of their teachers will come and we'll talk next Monday, I hope, and maybe next month we'll start getting our first tomatoes. Think of the salsas!"

This is gonna be great. For starters because they always say Mexican cooking is based on fresh everything. But also because townies like me see the direct connection. Mother Earth. She works. Life...IT works!

The burrito is rich, and wet. Maybe a touch salty, but delish. Takes me ten minutes to chomp through it. Talk about stuffed!

Then I start heading back towards the City College trolley stop. Can't stop thinking about the coming garden. I dunno. Gives you a certain feeling. Like, maybe there is hope for us all yet.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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