Growing healthy communities together means everyone gets involved. The Florence Fang Asian Community Garden is a partnership with smart businesses, community organizations, neighborhood residents and public officials. This page is a log of how we work together and what we do to grow our garden. We are particularly proud to partner with our financial sponsors who helped underwrite our beginning and help keep us going!
San Francisco Association of Realtors
The San Francisco Association of Realtors was a founding partner with the AsianWeek Foundation for launching the effort to bring green practices and a community garden to San Francisco’s Asian American community. Here the AsianWeek staff celebrates with the symbolic first bamboo tree planted at the garden’s groundbreaking. Left to right: Akihiro Hisada, Yijin Zhao, Carrolyn Kubota, Teddy Fang, Susan Ma, Angela Pang, Thanh Huynh (bottom) - April 2014
The first task for garden volunteers was to clean out the one-acre project site that started out with rocky hard pack (clay/loam) and overgrown with weeds and invasive species. Recology contributed multiple debris dumpsters filled up by volunteers to clean up the land and make it reusable. Feral cats had made a home at the site, with cat feces everywhere. Despite street cleaning, large quantities of trash collect regularly, especially along the northern fence line. A surprising amount of used diapers found in the litter suggests both the the prevalence of young and/or underserved families in the area. - February 2014
Mulching the entire one acre site was perhaps the biggest and most difficult task needed to launch the garden. It took the hard labor of many volunteers over 3 months and many weekends. Thankfully we had a special assist from Recology San Francisco to finish things up! Alan Perotti and Kenny Stewart brought out the Recology tractor to help do the final evening-out of the mulch which was generously donated by Bayview Greenwaste. Special thanks to Maurice Quillen and Paul Giusti at Recology and welcome new Recology Group President Mark Arsenault! - July 2014
Recology San Francisco helped launch the Florence Fang Community Garden with our first set of recycled tools from the garbage dump of San Francisco! Thanks to all our friends working at Recology who went through everything that was brought in and found us these great slightly-used garden tools! - October 2014
Attending the first Open Garden Day in April 2015 (l. to r.) Ted Fang, AsianWeek Foundation; Fiona Ma, California Board of Equalization; Mrs. Florence Fang; Minna Tao, General Manager Recology Golden Gate; Roger Kim, Mayor’s Office Senior Advisor on the Environment.
A grant from PG&E helped AsianWeek Foundation to organize discussion groups among San Francisco’s Asian Pacific Islanders. Community feedback from those meetings helped shape the Florence Fang Asian Community Garden Project as a safe place for the community to share traditional Asian characteristics with produce and in a community garden setting. - April 2014
Discount Builders delivered the concrete and lumber that our volunteers needed to build a fence and planter boxes. Discount Builders is the largest family owned & operated hardware store in San Francisco and a great supporter of community events. Doorman Services helped us with labor and construction management to complete the fence. - September 2014
Garden Volunteers built all of the Florence Fang Asian Community Garden’s planter boxes. Our first delivery of lumber was donated by Discount Builders Supply in San Francisco! Discount Builders is the choice for homeowners, contractors and community gardeners in San Francisco.
We are up to 53 boxes now! And any volunteer can get a space to grow healthy vegetables and produce. - August 2015
As part of San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee’s goals for bringing the City’s green movement to underserved communities, the SF Department of the Environment partnered with us to establish two bioswales running across our garden. Through the San Francisco Carbon Fund, they also supported the planting of thirty bamboo plants in one of the first efforts in the United States to use bamboo as a primary method for carbon sequestration. - July 2014
Two bioswales run across the width of our garden. They serve to catch extra rainwater to reduce runoff into the city’s drain and sewer system, especially in times of rain. They also help irrigate the site. The bioswale project was supported by the SF Dept. of Environment’s carbon reduction program, and filled with a thin layer of gravel donated by Western Roofing and planted with Yarrow that was imported from the former Growing Home Community Garden. SF DOE also supported our volunteers work on creating planter boxes and the Green Pavilion.
San Francisco Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru is a huge fan of urban farming and community organizing. Nuru arranged to have our multi-use shed special delivered by crane! The was brought out here through the efforts of Public Works staff Jimmer Cassiol and Assistant Superintendent Liz Lerma. - July 2014
Our mutli-use garden shed has open up side-doors to offer refreshments to garden volunteers, store our tools and helps form a shade structure and rest area. The shed is a re-purposed shipping container that was re-done by our friends at Recology. It was donated by San Francisco Public Works Director Mohmmed Nuru and originally located at the Growing Home Community Garden. Public Works staff Jimmer Cassiol and Assistant Superintendent Liz Lerma coordinated the special delivery!
Our planter boxes started with beautiful and practical recycled steel braces from ArtoftheGarden.net. The five different designs weather into beautiful corner pieces and made our installation fast and easy for everyone. Doorman Services helped cut our lumber to size, then we just slid the pieces into the Art of The Garden Braces and screwed them into place! - September 2014
Art of the Garden M-Brace highrisers are 20” tall and allowed us to build extra tall 24” planter boxes. The corner braces also come in many different looks from their butterfly and river designs, to carrot and river water looks as well.
Art of the Garden corner M-Braces come in different sizes and were able to give us maximum flexibility to build planter boxes of different sizes and different shapes. Be sure to come and visit our garden to see some of our Asian style layouts for the planter boxes too with our Harmony Cloud layout and Goat layout too!
Art of the Garden was started around one central idea: Create a way to make raised garden beds that EVERYONE can assemble and enjoy. That mission starts at the very top. Art of the Garden owner Jill Plumb came out herself to help us get started building our planter boxes, and here she is pictured with some of her creations!
The vegetables in the Florence Fang Asian Community Garden got the best start ever, thanks to the super rich contribution of Malibu Compost! Malibu Compost is made from dairy cow manure with nitrogen and digestive bio-organisms for extra powerful fertilizing and healing forces to make the soil dark and life nurturing. Malibu Compost ensures we have strong health sprouts and green bountiful harvests! - March 2015
Community Garden founder Ted Fang poses with Malibu Compost founder Colum Riley who drove a whole trailer load of compost up from the Malibu Compost farms in Oakdale California with a generous assist from buddy Craig Wilkinson. You need to get to know all the friendly and committed folks at Malibu, including co-founder Randy Ritchie, You Lee Riley and of course Bu the Cow!! And thanks to the hard-working Abana Jacobs from Subaru USA for bringing all us together!
The top layer of the planter box is a thick sheet of Malibu Compost to help sprouts get off to a strong start ready to burst into green shoots and big leaves. Malibu Compost’s special formula boosts the microbial biodiversity and nutritive capacity for the healthiest vegetables. The bottom of the planter boxes are first filled with topsoil containing good concentrations of organic material where the vegetable roots can grow deep and healthy.
We started our vegetables with a generous seed donation from Kitazawa Seed Company in Oakland! Maya was super helpful in working with us to select a unique variety of seeds for Asian and local vegetables. - September 2014
All our gardeners gathered around as our resident-gardener Faheem Carter (center) showed us how to plant our starters using Kitazawa Seeds.
The Florence Fang Community Garden site had been unattended for years and turned into a dry and barren brownsfield. Life-giving water was brought to our vegetables and plants through the coordinated efforts of San Francisco Public WorksDirector Mohammed Nuru, who contributed plumbing services and the SF Public Utilities Commission which brought our water services through the facilitation of PUC trouble-shooter Leah Pimentel. - October 2014
We just planted 14 lemon trees in the garden courtesy of Just One Tree, a project started in 2012 by Isabel Wade, long-time San Francisco greening advocate and founding President of Friends of the Urban Forest. The project's aim is to promote the concept of greater self-reliance in urban food production. Tree crops are the most efficient way to raise food in dense cities like San Francisco. Funded by the non-profit group California ReLeaf. - March 2015
New Lemon Trees! Just One Tree joined our community garden by bringing in 14 new lemon trees! JOT’s mission is to plant and/or register 12,000 lemon trees, the number of trees required to make the city totally self-sufficient in lemons. The ACG project, funded by the non-profit group California ReLeaf, adds 14 trees to the total registered to date--1556.
May 5, 2015 -- First lemon in the Florence Fang Asian Community Garden! It’s a Myer Lemon, but come see one of the other 4 varieties we are growing! Thanks to Isabel Wade, Chief Lemon Ambassador at Just One Tree for planting all 14 lemon trees in our garden! Funded by the non-profit group California ReLeaf.
Volunteers scoop 9 cubic yards of gravel donated from Western Gravel and Roofing Supply right in the neighborhood at 1426 Donner Ave. General Manager Eugene Lee is a local kid made good and one of the most upright guys in the business! The bioswales help avoid flooding and water runoff into the city’s sewer system during heavy rains. - September 2014
Corona Tools has the best gardening tools bar none! And they have a community support program that is also unsurpassed! Chris Sabbarese and the Corona Cares program provided our community volunteers with over $1,000 of gardening tools. Follow Chris at @csabbarese. The Florence Fang Asian Community Garden volunteers say: “Thank You Corona Tools!!” - January 2015
The high schoolers from Youth Art Exchange that teamed up to build the pavilion include: Diana Aleman Denisse Aguilar Megan Duong Christopher Lam Jackie Lin Carmen Liu Gwyneth Lor Conor Muerle Ruby Nungaray Panu Phan Milo Comito-Steller Cosimo Comito-Steller. Architect Craig Hollow led the team. - October 2014
In September 2014, Youth Art Exchange partnered with the garden on a project to build a pavilion in our community garden. The structure was commis-sioned by AsianWeek Foundation to attract members of the surrounding neighborhood, and bring people together. The pavilion is designed to serve as a rest spot and attraction for visitors of the garden.
Visitacion Valley Asian Alliance
Members of the Visitacion Valley Asian Alliance and community leader Marlene Tran volunteer at the groundbreaking of the Florence Fang Asian Community Garden on April 17, 2014. Other founding Community Advisory Partners include: Asian Pacific American Community Center, Community Youth Center, Samoan Community Development Center, and SF Community Empowerment Center.
Subaru joins the grand opening of the Florence Fang Asian Community Garden in April 2014 with the Subaru Hep B Mobile! Subaru has a deep commitment to improving the environment and promoting diversity. Subaru advised AsianWeek Foundation on the opening of our garden and partnered with the Hep B Free campaign - April 2014
Founding Community Partner Quesada Gardens provided an entry point for AsianWeek Foundation to launch the community garden and was instrumental in negotiating with CalTrains for the land and other start up activities. The Quesada Gardens Initiative’s reputation as a premier community building organization in the Bayview is exemplified by co-founder Jeffrey Betcher, seen here helping to spread mulch over the entire site (second from left). June 2014
Local residents Minjen Chang and her husband donated their plants to our community garden where the plants are blending in perfectly alongside our growing bamboo! - September 2015
Congresswoman and U.S. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi led the groundbreaking ceremony for the Florence Fang Asian Community Garden, hailing the community’s “ever-growing commitment to health, nutrition, the quality of the environment”, and sharing “the joy in knowing what this means to the community – to the children in the community, to the aspirations of the community. It’s so very, very important to have this open space be productive, be a source again of renewal.” - April 2014
Roger Kim, Senior Advisor to the Mayor of San Francisco visits the Florence Fang Asian Community Garden with Minna Tao, General Manager of Recology Golden Gate. - April 2015
Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco has been partnering with the Florence Fang Community Garden with multiple events that helped clear out the garden site and build up our planter boxes and other projects. Through their Neighborhood Revitalization department, Habitat for Humanity builds more than just homes; we help build communities. - March 2015
Volunteers from Habitat for Humanity help load up rich Malibu Compost for growing veggies! The compost is distributed as a top layer on the boxes to give our seedlings a super nutritional boost. There are 53 planter boxes in the garden now. Come see our special Harmony Cloud and Goat Layout designs!
Supervisor Malia Cohen addresses the community at the ground breaking of the Florence Fang Asian Community Garden on April 17, 2014. Supervisor Cohen, represents District 10 of San Francisco (including Bayview). Cohen also sits on the CalTrain Board of Directors.
"This project is the first Asian-themed public and open space on the Southeast side of the City. It reflects the growing diversity we have in the Southeast and provides a place for local residents to invest in healthy lifestyles and sustainable practices, including growing fresh produce,”said Supervisor Malia Cohen.
At the First Harvest Open Garden Day at the Florence Fang Asian Community Garden on April 17, 2015, Supervisor Cohen talks about the garden and the changing character of the Bayview as “an industrial part of San Francisco that is being re-purposed and coming back to life – literally, feeding life.”
Community Garden volunteers present a basket of freshly-cut produce from the garden’s first harvest to Supervisor Malia Cohen. Sup. Cohen led the effort to establish the community garden – helping to identify the site, bringing together city officials, community groups and local businesses, and being a regular visitor to check on our progress and check in with residents and neighbors.
Community Youth Center (CYC)
Project G of CYC Bayview Youth Advocates in 2015 focused on gardening for the community and partnered with our Garden. Youth worked their own planter box and planted Asian plants and vegetables to make the garden more beautiful while getting involved with the residents. - July 2015
The CYC Bayview Youth Advocates tend to their new sprouts as part of their Project G.http://byaprojectg.tumblr.com/
Community Youth Center organized the first ever Bayview Solidarity Tour, launching it at our garden in the summer of 2015. The tour included sites of community reclaiming public land through partnerships with government agencies. Pictured (left to right): Eddy Zheng, CYC Bayview Director; Teddy Fang, AsianWeek Foundation; Brandi Mack, Girls 2000 Director; Tracy Zhu, SF Foundation Environment Fellow.
Members of Girls 2000 Adam Rogers Community Garden and the Florence Fang Asian Community Garden participate together in the Bayview Solidarity Tour sponsored by Community Youth Center, a founding Community Advisory Partner for the Florence Fang Asian Community Garden - August 2015
The Florence Fang Asian Community Garden site is owned by CalTrain and has a long San Francisco history, including serving as the last operating family farm in San Francisco. CalTrains Board Chair Tom Nolan speaks at the garden’s groundbreaking on CalTrains commitment to the community, which includes a long term lease that includes a vision for the Florence Fang Asian Community Garden to partner with any future housing development to preserve the garden. - April 2014
AsianWeek Foundation’s Ted Fang is pictured with CalTrain’s Cindy Lee at the First Harvest ceremony. The Florence Fang Asian Community Garden sits on top of a CalTrain tunnel. CalTrain’s long-term lease with the community also envisions future sustainability of the garden on the portion of the site over the tunnel with the potential of partnering with private sources to develop housing on the other half of the site. - April 2015
Bayview Greenwaste donated 15 truckloads of mulch to cover our entire one acre site. The original garden site was barren, polluted, strewn with garbage and overgrown with weeds. After clearing it out, the mulch prevented the weeds from re-growing and formed the basis for our future plantings. - May 2014
Volunteers spread out 15 truckloads of mulch donated by Bayview Greenwaste to cover the entire one acre site of the Florence Fang Asian Community Garden. The mulch prevents weeds from re-growing and is completely recycled materials. Volunteers came out every weekend for over three months spreading the mulch and we were only able to finish with an assist from Recology’s mini-tractor!
Our first sign we put up to establish the Florence Fang Asian Community Garden was made by local business A52 Signs. The hard-working Abby Conklin understood just what we needed and turned it around quick! - April 2014
National Environment Education Foundation
Special thanks to Toyota Motors for sponsoring theNational Environmental Education and Training Foundation!
With their support, we are learning how to increase our crop production and set up a neighborhood produce stand to provide more fresh produce for community members. (September 2016)
Sitting on the site of SF’s last operating farm, we are proud to be renewing the tradition of growing fresh produce and sharing gardening traditions!
Thanks to one of our oroignal suppliers, Big Creek Lumber, we are able to get a special deal on lots of redwood planks for our building! We us this lumber for so many of our different needs at the garden, from more planter boxes to grow vegetables, to building a community stage for neighborhood performances.
July 2017 - We have 66 individual planter boxes divided into two sections, and we have 18 communal planting lanes where all the volunteer gardeners chip in together to grow surplus crops which are sold as a source of fresh vegetables to local residents and supplemental revenue for garden operations.
More than twenty non-profit/community groups have partnered to help develop the Florence Fang Asian Community Garden, and as one of the few green spaces available to the public, we continue to work with local and neighborhood groups. Pictured above is the Thanksgiving ceremony from Fall of 2016.
The San Francisco Community Challenge Grant program supported our growth and partnership with Community Youth Center to expand our planting facilities, to recruit more members to our garden and to network with other community gardens.
Thanks to partners and funders like the Center for Environmental Health, the Florence Fang Asian Community Garden empowers local residents to utilize the local land, to engage in environmental justice efforts, to live healthier, more active lives. In partnership with the Food Bank, we provide food to 150 families in need every Saturday, and hold community events like the Mother's Day gathering from May 2017 pictured below.
Florence Fang Asian Community Garden is continuing to increase capacity for self-sustainability and helping our community continue to grow and lead healthier lives.
The Rose Foundation has supported better composting abilities, improving the soil and microbiome, adding nutrients and bio-organisms to act as natural fertilizers. They also helped us to build more infrastructure and hold community gatherings to share food and neighborhood spirit. The Farmer's Market participation and Produce Stand projects foster teamwork and bring out leadership qualities among group members. (Garden sign posts (left) installed March 2017)
The AARP Livable Communities' Community Challenge ‘quick action’ grant program helped us to bring more fresh produce and healthy living activities to San Francisco’s Bayview, especially for low-income immigrants, residents 50-plus and their families. We were able to increase participation, crop harvests, food distribution, accessibility, outdoor activity and intergenerational, diverse community interaction!
Florence Fang Asian Community Garden was one of 129 grantees from around the whole country that received support in 2018 to fund innovative projects that inspire change and make counties, cities, towns and rural areas better places to live for residents of all ages.
AARP also published an annual special edition with AsianWeek newspaper filled with news and tips for older Asian Americans. Our gardeners appreciate the targeted information helpful to them, and they love the AARP gifts during Lunar New Year celebrations with pink fans and custom AARP red envelopes!
Our partners at the Japantown Center Garage help us to share the benefits of FFACG with San Franciscans from different neighborhoods, and they also help introduce our gardeners to the many wonders that San Francisco’s Japantown has to offer as the center of the local Japanese American community for over 100 years.
Through this neighborhood-to-neighborhood partnership, our community gardeners have organized visits to Japantown Center and our urban farm has been introduced to healthy and delicious crops with a Japanese heritage like Mizuna and Perilla.
The Japantown Center Garage is located at 1610 Geary Blvd, and offers plenty of parking to visitors in a secure and well-lighted facility with a friendly staff.
Sterling Bank & Trust is San Francisco’s local bank supporting the city’s diverse communities. Sterling Bank’s community spirit is on full display at our Open Garden Days when residents from all over the neighborhood come to share the bountiful harvest of our urban farm, enjoy live entertainment performances and get to know their fellow neighbors over food and drink.
Our Open Garden Days have included ribbon-cutting ceremonies for the Bayview Growers Market, Lunar New Year and Spring Festival celebrations, and Autumn Harvest gatherings. Thanks to Sterling Bank’s support we featured National Lion Dancing Champions You Kung Lion Dancers, local choir groups, and martial arts performances at our 2019 Spring Festival Open Garden Day!
Our garden shares the goals of the Strong Foundation for Environmental Values in building a community-based ethic of environmental stewardship. With the Strong Foundation’s support, FFACG outreaches to surrounding residents and networks with other community gardens to share experiences and knowledge about organic gardening methods, conservation of resources, healthy eating and healthy living practices.
We were able to host seven of our fellow community gardens in the Fall of 2018 for the Bayview Growers Market Saturday. Participating gardens included: Alice Griffith Community Garden, Abundance Community Garden, FacesSF Garden, Northridge Cooperative Garden, Rose Green Garden, Florence Fang Asian Community Garden, Willie Mays Boys & Girls Club Edible Garden
We are bringing bees and a greenhouse to the Florence Fang Asian Community Garden, thanks to the help and support of Kaiser Permanente! Local beekeeper Gabino Alonso is helping us to set up four to six beehives and teaching our gardeners and the community about the importance of pollinators in our urban setting and how they improve harvest yields at the community garden.
We have also set up our first green house structure, and are learning how to grow seedlings even during cold weather. This Spring 2019, we have already nurtured our first set of mizuna and bok choy seedlings donated by Plenty indoor farms, and have moved them out and growing them in our outdoor planter lanes now.
The Florence Fang Asian Community Garden was started as way of building community and increasing social interconnectedness around the issues of improving the environment. This quickly led us into growing fresh food and becoming one of San Francisco’s most productive urban farms. We are planning to grow over 8,000 pounds of locally-grown fresh vegetables in 2019.
We have really learned to appreciate the role that agriculture plays in the health, growth and well-being of our community. Our garden and urban farm has become home to a local food system that reflects the neighborhood residents and reconnects people back to their food and the land.