This is a second in my series ‘City Grown’, the first one ‘Berlin’ can be found here.
I always try and check out urban farms and growing projects when I travel and I knew in a city like San Francisco that would be a cinch. I spent over a month in SF and my friend Anoushka found us Alemany farm to volunteer at.
Alemany farm is in Bernal heights and flanked by busy freeways, a former dumping ground reclaimed and turned into a high-yielding city farm. Make your way there through College Ave, which like the rest of SF has the cutest architecture but we couldn’t stop thinking of ‘little boxes on the hillside, little boxes made of ticky tacky’. The houses here are so charming and Tim Burtonesque suburban, they look like little cake toppers. I had to go check them out again using street view on Google Maps just for fun.
The farm was great. We spent half the day digging out old pumpkin plants and weeding a carrot bed and the rest of the time harvesting. A beekeeper brought over a honeycomb for us to taste and it was the thickest, most delicious golden honey I’ve tried.
If you’re interested in volunteering, their community workdays are Monday afternoons, the 1st and 3rd Sundays. and the 2nd and 4th Sundays of every month. I highly recommend it and volunteers get to take produce home! They also conduct workshops on irrigation, soil fertility, backyard composting. I’ve never seen such a variety of produce at an urban farm before. They grow the best cherry tomatoes I have ever eaten (and I hate raw tomatoes but these were like candy), but we also got to take back everything from apples and zucchini to kale and feijoas.
Then I made pretty salads all week.