Gallery: San Franciscans Turn Abandoned Lot Into Full-Fledged Farm


A proposed 239-unit development in San Francisco‘s Hayes Valley has yet to come to fruition, leaving an ugly, empty lot in its place. Seeing this, a group of enterprising citygoers have decided to turn the lot into Hayes Valley Farm, an education and research project sponsored by the San Francisco Parks Trust.

The farm’s founders envision it to be a place where “people come regularly to meet and connect with each other. Friends exchange food, recipes, stories and knowledge about ways we can all live in greater harmony with our surroundings. They are surrounded by an abundant and rich forest of food that encourages connection and understanding of the vital life systems that support human kind.

So far, they’re doing a good job — the farm offers classes, workshops, work parties, and site tours for anyone interested. Future workshops include bee keeping, composting, greenhouse propagation, SF-specific plant selection, and garden design / edible landscaping.

Unfortunately the farm won’t be around forever — it’s part of an interim use agreement with the City’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development. After two to five years, the city will move ahead with development plans for the space. Still, it’s exciting to see San Francisco allow residents to turn temporarily abandoned lots into community-oriented spaces.

+ Hayes Valley Farm

Via Curbed SF

Photos by Chris Martin


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  1. manny February 7, 2010 at 5:35 am

    Projects like these are great and bring communities together

  2. jeanX February 4, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    The Bay Area is rich in farms,
    so I wonder what real farmers think of this effort.
    It’s easy to grow things in this climate, better than having
    them shipped East, which is now the case.
    It’s much better to have local produce,
    than to ship things across the land.
    It would require a dietary change—
    food that my grandparents ate:
    chicken, potatoes, onions, carrots, etc.
    These are all possible in most cold climates.

  3. eherold February 3, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    it would be wonderful if the future development plans could incorporate some of the edible landscaping and gardens!

    besides, in this economy, i doubt the city will move very quickly on whatever they had in mind for the space. the neighborhood itself seems to have figured out how to use the land just fine!

  4. Jess @ Openly Balanced February 3, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    How wonderful! And who knows what the future might bring. These temporary efforts could provide the momentum needed for the development of more permanent urban agriculture.

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