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Utopia Now!: SF Gardeners Stage Lot Takeover

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A group of San Francisco residents want to turn the city's vacant lots into organic gardens. The San Francisco Permaculture Guild are hunting down open space and vacant lots in San Francisco; ideally, the use of these properties would be granted for free by their owners (unlikely!), who would in turn be theoretically exempt from any and all potential liabilities. Should SFPG realize their vision of Utopia, soils will be tested, the grounds weeded, and gardens monitored. Much of the food will be donated to food banks or sold at farmer's markets, while city nabes find themselves with fewer vacant lots. Who, if anyone, would gain financially from this is unknown— unsurprisingly, property experts are dubious as best. Dreaming of an apparently selfless city that can satisfy its own hunger, so far, guild members have identified 1,058 open lots, which amount to about 127 acres (the city's assessor found twice that amount). It's hard to argue that gardens wouldn't be an improvement over vacant infill lots, but a few details— such as how much landowners have to gain from the deal, for instance— remain questionable. Two works on the P.R. front, SFPG: Alice. Waters.
· Farming the City [SF Gate]