Central Freeway Parcel P (Image Source: MapJack.com)
A plugged-in reader’s comment with respect to yesterday’s post on Envelope A+D’s plans for “proxy” along Octavia Boulevard on Central Freeway Parcels K+L:

Looks pretty, but a well landscaped edible garden is probably more in tune with the new economy & pulls a community together like none other.

Alas, from John King today with respect to parcels P+O across the street:

There’s also a proposal for a communal farm on the boulevard’s largest site, a 1.5-acre lot between Oak and Fell streets where freeway ramps touched down until 2003.

Despite that history, and its perch between busy roads, the growers approached by [Rich Hillis of the Mayor's Office of Economic Development] are confident the land can be made bountiful.

“It’s an amazing opportunity,” said Chris Burley of MyFarm, a nonprofit that raises food in the backyards of 120 San Francisco homes.

Burley describes the still-tentative concept as “communal space but not necessarily a community garden.”

As some might recall, with perhaps a bit of foresight or irony, the winning proposal to develop parcel P included “up to 239 residential units in five-story buildings that [could] be designed by individual architects and built at their own pace.”
Envelope A+D’s “Proxy” For Octavia Boulevard Lots K+L [SocketSite]
Efforts to turn empty lots to a glass half full [SFGate]
RFPs For Housing Along Octavia Boulevard [SocketSite]
Infill Along Octavia Boulevard: And The Winners Are… [SocketSite]

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by rr

    E-I-E-I-O

  2. Posted by tipster

    I can’t wait to hear about the pesticides the growers will be avoiding, while their produce is completely smothered in 6 lanes of automobile exhaust 24/7. Mmmmmmm!

  3. Posted by Joe

    The minute a seed is planted on that lot, it will forever be a farm.
    Sorry, its not a completely ridiculous idea, but in this town people dont play fair.

  4. Posted by anaon

    From urban dwellings to yuppie victory garden. Progress, SF style.

  5. Posted by CameronRex

    Not digging this idea.

  6. Posted by Mole Man

    Putting greenery on top of buildings helps the environment and reduces the urban heat island effect, so urban farming and development are not really in conflict.

  7. Posted by aidan

    what if the soil underneath is contaminated? what good is a farm if you can’t eat it’s produce. lame idea

  8. Posted by Jimmy (No Longer Bitter)

    For my urban farm, I bought large water troughs (like you’d use for watering cattle) and filled them 1/3 with gravel and 2/3 with new topsoil. Total cost for 12 linear feet (including the troughs) was about $260. Stuff grows like crazy and the new soil doesn’t have any weeds in it.
    The key is automatic watering … otherwise everything just dies of thirst.
    I already got my first crop of swiss chard only 45 days after planting.

  9. Posted by Robert

    what if the soil underneath is contaminated?
    In that case, you bring in low income housing.

  10. Posted by no name

    the myfarm people presented the idea at the hayes valley neighborhood association meeting–it sounded great. they said they sent out the soil for testing and will be taking into account the pollution from the traffic

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