Over the past year or so, our Urban Farming Assistance Program has grown tremendously!

We have been providing soil health technical assistance to urban agriculture in San Mateo and San Francisco Counties regularly over the past 6 months, with a focus on helping urban farmers and gardeners better understand the current state of their soil and how best to maintain and improve it.

What does that look like?
Boots-on-the-ground education: We have been helping people take soil samples at community gardens and urban farms and then submit them to a lab for testing. Soil testing is a very important part of understanding what is going on below our feet, and can help us improve soil health conditions for improved crop production. It can be daunting to know where to start so we have provided that assistance by teaching people how to take soil samples, and later how to interpret the test results. We then make recommendations for soil health practices based on those results.
Financial assistance: It can be costly to submit soil samples for testing so we have been able to fund the soil tests and this work through our Urban Ag. Conservation grant from the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD).

The gardens/farms featured in these photos are the Tenderloin People’s Garden in San Francisco, the Northridge Community Garden in San Francisco, The East Palo Alto Charter School in East Palo Alto and Hummingbird Farm in San Francisco.

An image of two women in their 20's/30's working in a row of plants. They are wearing wide brimmed gardening hats and casual clothing. One pulls weeds with a bucket next to her.
Three people (a multiracial man, latino child, and white woman) stand behind a garden bed filled with chard, kale and lettuce. In the background there is a multi-story apartment building and a blue sky with a few clouds.
A person with dark hair and tan skin kneels beneath a trellis in a garden bed, digging a small hole with a trowel.
A black man in his 30's kneels in a patch of dirt, planting a small green plant. He wears orange pants and a grey sweatshirt. A bucket is beside him, and a greenhouse and palm tree are in the background.