A farm in San Francisco? This startup is doing it!

Special guest post by Mary Lemmer

It was almost two years ago when I stood staring at my backyard in frustration. The almost 3,000 square foot space had previously hosted several outdoor parties, bringing together hundreds of people over great conversation and delicious food. The backyard housed a prolific fig tree, a lemon tree, a kumquat tree, and a young olive tree. Staring at the those trees and a vast space of landscaped earth, I was inspired to put the dirt to work.

Channeling my dormant vegetable gardener and fueled by a love of produce and learning new things, I found some friends and turned my backyard into an urban farm in San Francisco. Months later, I had a garden full of fresh vegetables, so much so that I didn’t need to shop at the farmer’s market and even had extra fruits and vegetables to share with my neighbors.

Perhaps you’ve enjoyed dining at a farm-to-table restaurant, or even visited the farmer’s market to get some farm fresh produce to serve on your table.  Now, inspired by my own backyard farm’s success, my new company, Foodscape, is bringing the farm even closer to your table.  Foodscape enables people to turn their yards into farms and share the harvest with their community, just like I did with my own yard.

Foodscape is creating a Neighborhood Foodscape in San Francisco – a farm made up of backyards, empty school gardens, and other unused land in the neighborhood.  Everyone is invited to join and contribute land or procure some of the produce.  Foodscape works like a very local community supported agriculture (CSA) plot. Once a minimum number of members join, Foodscape has an experienced “foodscaper” set up and maintain the farms. Members of each foodscape pay a membership fee – $350 per season (or $60/month for 6 months) to get a share of the harvest along with optional add-on local food items (eggs, meats, cheeses, dry goods, etc) from other local farm partners. Members can also sign up to attend Backyard-to-Table multi-course dinners made with ingredients grown within the foodscape. Membership fees are used to set up and maintain the foodscape throughout the season. In addition to delicious and healthy food, members get better acquainted with their neighborhood community.

Learn more about how to start or join your own foodscape and get delicious, healthy homegrown food direct from your community, at www.myfoodscape.com  For those of you in San Francisco, you are invited to attend an info session on Monday, February 8, at 6:30 pm at 381 Noe St. to learn more, meet your neighbors, and enjoy farm fresh treats. Contact me at mary@myfoodscape.com or 415-484-9749 with any questions.

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