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What U.S. Municipalities Can Learn From San Francisco’s Urban Farming Movement


San Francisco Public Utilities Commission photo.

I have jumped at the opportunity to see what my agency can do with our 75,000 acres of land outside our City boundaries and 1,400 or so within the 49 square miles of San Francisco itself.

By Francesca Vietor, President
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
In The Huffington Post
December 14, 2010


Last year my 26-year-old niece left her job as an executive assistant at a well-known advertising agency to become an apprentice gardener at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. Now, when she moves back to San Francisco, she wants to talk her neighbors into tearing down the fences separating their yards so they can build a community garden. She wants to make soap and dye wool to make a living. She and nearly all of the twenty-somethings I meet want to spend the day with their hands in the dirt, not in front of a computer screen; they want food and financial security, they are interested in homesteading, and they are crazy about urban farming.

The good news is that the guerrilla urban farming movement is taking root in San Francisco. Sue Moss lives in the St. Vincent de Paul homeless shelter and created a garden out of a small patch of dirt near a freeway on-ramp. Her tools? Just a plastic fork and whatever else she could scavenge. When the folks at Fort Mason Community Gardeners heard about her they gave her a small rake, a spade and bag of seeds. Volunteers now help her maintain the plot — she has created food and community in what was an abandoned eyesore.

Read the complete article here.