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Our landscape is shifting.

When the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake damaged the on and off ramps to San Francisco’s Central Freeway, community members fought against rebuilding the freeway. Instead of freeway overpasses filled with traffic, they wanted more livable space.

Members of the Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association successfully worked with the City to develop a long-term plan for the neighborhood. The plan included building more housing and expanding Octavia into a grand boulevard with green space and a playground.

The housing plans were stalled with the economic downturn of 2008. This meant that, two decades after the earthquake, the empty lot at Laguna and Oak remained vacant. In January 24, 2010, the City activated the site for temporary green space use. The slump in the economy meant that, not only was land available for short-term use, people were available, seeking new skills and ways to engage.

Tens of thousands of visitors poured into 450 Laguna to transform the site into an urban commons, replete with fruit forests, bio-intensive cultivation practices and community gathering spaces. That was the beginning of Hayes Valley Farm.


Loma Prieta Earthquake damages pillars of the Central Freeway
Timeline/A look back at Octavia St. and the Central Freeway
SF Gate, 10/20/04


San Francisco’s Central Freeway ramp demolition begins
Fell St. off-ramp to bite the dust: Last step in Hayes Valley transformation
San Francisco Chronicle, 3/19/03


Central Freeway Over Octavia St.21 years after an earthquake compromised the Central Freeway
Removing Freeways, Restoring Cities
Preservation Institute, 2007


End_of_fwy_duboce.jpgOver 7 years since the last remains of the structure were removed
Revisiting the San Francisco Freeway Revolt
SF Streetsblog, 6/11/09

Mayor signs Directive on Healthy and Sustainable Food for SF
Newsom’s fresh idea: mandates on healthier food
San Francisco Chronicle, 7/9/09


Mayor proposes green development agreements for interim use of vacant lots
Myriad ideas to fill void of empty lots
San Francisco Chronicle, 1/26/10

Office of Economic & Workforce Development considers interim use for a farm in Hayes Valley
Building a Farm Where a Freeway Used to Be
SF Streetsblog, 2/8/10

San Francisco Parks Trust becomes fiscal sponsor of the project
Urban Oasis: A farm in Hayes Valley works to create sustainable agriculture in the middle of San Francisco
[X]press, 3/16/10

Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association likes the idea
Neighborhood Focus on Earth Day
Hayes Valley Farm, 4/22/10

Gates open at Hayes Valley Farm
Jan 22 – Prep Day
Hayes Valley Farm, 1/22/10

The farm grows organically
Hayes Valley: A Former Freeway Turns into a Farm
GOOD, 3/18/10

Interim-use gardens thrive in Hayes Valley
Crops dot fallow S.F. spots until backhoes come
SF Chronicle, 6/15/10

Interim space: an opportunity to explore
Flowers on the Freeway
Exploratorium, 8/27/10


Permaculture grows nationally
The Permaculture Movement Grows from the Underground
New York Times, 7/27/11

Hayes Valley Farm posts transition statement
Dear Supporters of Hayes Valley Farm
Poster on Hayes Valley Farm gate, 7/11/11

Amended zoning legislation supports urban agriculture
San Francisco Passes Progressive Urban Agriculture Policy
Civil Eats, 4/14/11


California encourages urban ag with tax incentives for interim use
New California law aims to cultivate urban agriculture
LA Times, 10/2/13

Last day at Hayes Valley Farm: 5/31/13
Hayes Valley Farm seeds urban agriculture, biodiversity, and youth education projects
Hayes Valley Farm, 6/3/13

March 1st – Transition off Oak Street
Hayes Valley Farm Transition Announcement
Hayes Valley Farm, 3/17/13


What’s possible today? That’s up to you. Plant a seed, grow soil, plants, and community.