Urban Gardening Coming to SF?

By RJ Middleton
|  Wednesday, Feb 16, 2011  |  Updated 11:30 AM PDT
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Urban Gardening Coming to SF?

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Little plots of radishes, orange trees or bergamots ... maybe even some goats to do the weeding. It's all possible if a pending proposal in front of the SF Planning Commission is passed Thursday.

Growing food within the city limits, on less than an acre of land, and selling that food could be a lifestyle and urban landscape change if the San Francisco Food Policy Council, Little City Gardens, the SF Urban Agriculture Alliance and other advocacy groups get their way.

The proposal would remove existing obstacles to sustainable, even profitable, gardending and food production. Things like a fencing requirement mandating they have to be ornamental and change fees of $300.

Most privately held parcels of land are not large enough to think about turning a profit, but there are tracts that the city owns that could be leased out for gardening.

If the proposal passes, green shoots could be sprouting up in no time. And where there are gardens, then are weeds.

And where there are weeds, there can be hungry goats. City Grazing rents out goats for environmentally friendly weed removal -- "weed eaters on hooves."

Chicago, Kansas CitySeattle and Cleveland all have urban-gardening provisions on the books.

On Thursday, citizens are encouraged to wear green to show their support to the commission voters. Supporters that cannot make the meeting can sign an online petition.

The whole effort stems from former Mayor Gavin Newsom's Executive Directive for Healthy and Sustainable Food from July 2009.

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