Hayes Valley Farm will be vacating its home soon, but the urban oasis is not drying up.
Located on a 2-acre parcel at Laguna Street between Fell and Oak streets, the farm was notified in May that its temporary home would need to make way for a condo project, which is in early development stages.
When Hayes Valley Farm opened two years ago on the former on- and offramp of the Central Freeway, organizers knew it would need to move one day.
“A lot of people knew it was interim,” said Jay Rosenberg of Hayes Valley Farm. “We don’t want to have a working farm when construction is going on.”
Rosenberg said the farm has been preparing for this day since the beginning.
“They always told us it would be two to five years,” Rosenberg said. “We’ve enjoyed growing food together and making a community center here; it’s more than a farm. We hope it can continue.”
The farm — which contains a garden, permaculture and working bee hives to pollinate plants and trees, all of which can be transported — must vacate the current property by February to allow for environmental reviews and the beginning of construction. But Rosenberg hopes to move to another location in The City, and eventually expand.
The physical location of the next space has yet to be determined, but Rosenberg has even bigger plans. He envisions a future with hundreds of farms throughout The City.
“To be able to activate a gray space and turn it into a green space is amazing,” he said. “To restore the habitat and life to the area and teach kids about ecology that can happen all over The City, it doesn’t have to be a giant space.”
According to Kelly Pretzer of the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development, the farm is expected to decide on its new location in the next few weeks.
A number of changes must occur to the proposed condo project before it can be built, including height limits and sunshine requirements, according to planning documents.
Pretzer said though the project is underway, it does not mean San Francisco must lose the farm.
“It’s been enormously successful,” she said. “It’s pretty amazing what they’ve done in a space that doesn’t scream urban farm in such a short time frame.”