In 2010, 450 Laguna Street opened into an abandoned lot, slated to be developed into condominiums within a few years. That same year, San Francisco’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development gave community members, artists, educators and permaculture designers a lease to activate the area for temporary green space use.
For three years, thousands of people came to garden, work, and play at the place we called Hayes Valley Farm. Within six months we had grown our own soil, planted a field of fava beans, built a greenhouse, and raised bees. This empty lot used to be the highway 101 freeway on-ramp, before it was structurally damaged in the Loma Prieta Earthquake.
Hayes Valley Farm changed us and taught us about the nature of change. We continue to explore what’s possible today. From creating community gardens to building partnerships and practicing shared governance models, we hope to inspire new collaborations.
Photos: Zoey Kroll, Hayes Valley Farm, Chris Martin