September 3, 2009

And On This Farm Along Octavia Boulevard (Between Oak And Fell)

Central Freeway Parcel P (Image Source:

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]

First Published: September 3, 2009 9:00 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers


Posted by: rr at September 3, 2009 9:58 AM

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!

Posted by: tipster at September 3, 2009 10:10 AM

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.

Posted by: Joe at September 3, 2009 10:19 AM

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

Posted by: anaon at September 3, 2009 10:21 AM

Not digging this idea.

Posted by: CameronRex at September 3, 2009 10:38 AM

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.

Posted by: Mole Man at September 3, 2009 11:00 AM

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

Posted by: aidan at September 3, 2009 1:11 PM

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.

Posted by: Jimmy (No Longer Bitter) at September 3, 2009 2:28 PM

what if the soil underneath is contaminated?

In that case, you bring in low income housing.

Posted by: Robert at September 3, 2009 2:33 PM

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

Posted by: no name at September 4, 2009 8:24 AM

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