East Village’s SMARTS Farm Urban Garden Finds New Roots in Markers Quarter
East Village's SMARTS Farm Urban Garden Finds New Roots in Markers Quarter
Growing Healthy Communities, Sprouting New Ideas, SMARTS Farm Blossoms in its New Digs on Broadway
On the corner of 15th and F Street in East Village, surrounded by the hubbub of downtown’s evolving Makers Quarter neighborhood, an unlikely garden grows. Since its inception in Spring of 2013, SMARTS Farm, a non-profit urban garden and learning center, has become an instrumental building block to a formerly park poor community—connecting nearby residents, families and underserved youth to gardening practices and academic enrichment programs that encourage conservation of natural resources.
Now in November 2016, SMARTS Farm will relocate to a larger lot just a few blocks away at 1326 Broadway. The move will afford SMARTS Farm room to grow into a more spacious 16,000 square-foot property, while continuing to help transform an emerging downtown neighborhood along the way.
At SMARTS Farm, children have the opportunity to play, learn, lead and grow, like the seeds they plant in the easy-to-garden planter boxes—many of which are leased out to community residents and East Village restaurants including nearby Cowboy Star. The farm’s enrichment programs range from multi-day educational classes to one-day field trips that include garden exploration, art and photography classes, bug and animal interaction, as well as farm-to-table SMARTS Café nutrition and cooking classes.
SMARTS Farm’s future home at 1326 Broadway will welcome the addition of new learning programs and community experiences through a three year lease with Civic San Diego. There will be a space for community events, evening performances, lunches, and meetings. An on-site farm stand will sell fresh produce daily, and a new chicken coop will provide a home for the farm’s flock to lay fresh eggs. In addition to its youth programs, SMARTS Farm plans to host a variety of family fun days and special holiday events that are open to the public.