Hayes Valley Farm - Abandoned freeway turned into a community space

nitrogen nodes on roots of fava beans
Photo by Wunluv

What do you get when you mix a great idea with an abandoned plot of earthquake damaged freeway that had become a hot-spot for all sorts of generally frowned upon activities (drug use,  abuse, dealing, criminal activities and rodent olympics)? A biodynamic/permaculture community  farm and training centre of course!

The Hayes Valley Farm, in the heart of San Francisco has  transformed an urban wasteland into a innovative food producing garden that has become a community meeting place. Locals passing by in the cars on a sunny San Francisco-ian Saturday afternoon hoot and cheer at volunteers planting nitrogen fixing fava beans on terraformed slopes terraced with compost produced on-site and decomposing cardboard boxes donated by Google. They've got San Francisco's progressive mayor Gavin Newsmom involved, who has assisted with  seed funding and permission to use the space.

A cyclist pulls up to the fence and asks Jay Rosenberg, one of the core team members and founders of the project, for more information on how to volunteer. Zoey Kroll, a dedicated volunteer at the project and open source information architect, mixes tech with dirt and invites her peers from a Drupal conference to come over and plant trees. Zoey does guerrilla usability testing at the farm. No guerrillas were harmed during the tests.

Hayes valley farm dwarf fruit trees

Fava Beans Santhan Chacha
Last two photos by Kevin Walsh