Address Group has launched an initiative called Address Gardens that has one simple goal: to repurpose underutilized ground in and around its commercial property to grow food for charity.
Address Gardens was started after the City of San Francisco passed the Panning Code Amendment on Urban Agriculture (Ordinance 66-11) that made commercial gardens and small farms legal citywide.
After this progressive and groundbreaking ordinance was passed in 2011, Address Group recognized that it had some underutilized ground on commercial property it managed that could be repurposed as urban gardens to grow food for charity. They were inspired by the momentum in San Francisco toward the creation of urban micro-farms and the notion that growing food within a city (where the majority of the population that consumes it are located) is better than growing it far away requiring transportation.
The idea that there are so many areas of urban private property (such as undeveloped lots, unused rear-yards and rooftops) that could be legally repurposed to grow the food for the people that immediately live nearby marks the beginning of a shift away from the thinking that food production is saved for the rural communities only. Therefore Address Group, as a private landowner, joined the San Francisco Urban Agricultural Alliance and teamed up with other members who are experienced urban farmers to build growing plots on its land where possible. The gardens are planted and managed for seasonal produce, which is harvested and donated to local charitable organizations that feed the city’s hungry.
Address Group hopes to use this model to inspire other private landowners to follow its lead, and adapt a plan to repurpose its otherwise unused land for food production to help a hungry neighbor.
Address Gardens have supported through its efforts the San Francisco Food Bank and St. Anthony’s Foundation of San Francisco.