Hayes Valley Farm forced to move on


It’s like the ending of “Fern Gully.” You know, when you see the span of the landscape and realize the perky little pixie and the Robin Williams-voiced bat weren’t able to completely save the rain forest.

Okay, so maybe the inevitable end to the Hayes Valley Farm isn’t quite that dramatic. But it’s still a shame to hear the urban farm project in the block bounded by Laguna, Octavia, Oak and Fell has been handed an eviction notice.

Hayeswire reported this week that the farm will need to vacate its parcel of inner city land to make way for a mix of residential units and retail shops. The farm project is expected to be handed its official 60-day notice in December.

The Hayes Valley Farm became possible after after the 1989 earthquake damaged the Central Freeway to the point of demolition. For decades, empty lots languished where concrete once stood.

In 2010, when The City allowed farming to begin on the land known as “Parcel P,” it was always seen as a temporary measure.

The comment section of Hayeswire’s article shows there are indeed residents of the neighborhood that will be sad to see the Farm go.

But others see future development of the block as a positive. Not because the neighborhood is full of anti-tree-huggers, but because the addition of housing is good for a city where apartments are scarce and rent continues to rise.

While some readers will miss the Farm because “it adds character to the neighborhood,” others feel the Farm is “beautiful but temporary” and believe that the added housing is essential. And then there are those that are already dreading how difficult parking will be during construction. But that’s neither here nor there.

Hayes Valley Farm has been working on alternatives around town, but nothing has emerged yet. Until something does, urban farming in The City will be a little less bountiful than it has been.

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