Mayor Ed Lee signed a new measure allowing “urban agriculture” in San Francisco on Wednesday. The legislation rewrites old zoning laws that prohibited people from selling homegrown produce without a permit and a hearing in front of the city.

The push to change the city’s codes was lead by farmers like Brooke Buddner and Caitlin Galloway who founded Little City Gardens, a small farm on an empty lot in San Francisco’s Mission Terrace. After discovering the city’s expensive permit process they teamed up with other local food lovers to push for the zoning change.

Reporter Lauren Sommer spoke with Buddner and Galloway in February about their urban farm.

About the project
[audio:|titles=Urban Ag Intro Project]

Neighbors reaction
[audio:|titles=urban ag neighbors reaction and criticism]

How they chose their site
[audio:|titles=urban ag choosing site]

Campaigning for a new zoning law
[audio:|titles=UrbanAg Zoning and Campaign]

The importance of urban agriculture
[audio:|titles=urban ag importance project]

The ordinance also allows for the sale, donation, or pick-up of fresh food grown throughout the city, as well as “value-addded products” like jams, pickles or pies.

Oakland’s urban farmer, Novella Carpenter, who is faces thousands of dollars in fines, hopes that other cities will follow San Francisco’s lead.

‘Urban agriculture’ takes root with law

Interview: Little City Gardens Farmers Brooke Budner and Caitlyn Galloway 21 April,2011Lisa Pickoff-White


Lisa Pickoff-White

Lisa Pickoff-White is KQED’s data reporter. Lisa specializes in simplifying complex topics and bringing them to life through compelling visuals, including photography and data visualizations. She previously has worked at the Center for Investigative Reporting and other national outlets. Her work has been honored with awards from the Online News Association, Investigative Reporters and Editors, the Society of Professional Journalists and SXSW Interactive.  Follow: @pickoffwhite Email:

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