We’ve all passed a formerly vacant lot, only to see it’s been seized and taken over by gardeners. There are rows of vegetables, maybe a few flowers and a sculpture of some sort.
The sculpture in San Francisco’s Alemany Farm is a full-sized windmill. That should tell you everything you need to know about its agricultural girth.
The farm, flanked at all sides by freeways, public housing or the slope of Bernal Heights, is carved out of a former junkyard. In the 1990s, the San Francisco League of Urban Gardeners transformed the 3 1/2 acre site into a sprawling garden with avocado trees, artichoke bushes and lavender shrubs.
But the organization folded, the money ran out and the weeds reclaimed the site. Several years ago, a new volunteer group called the Friends of the Alemany Garden took over the farm and whipped it back into shape — in a rambling, English garden kind of way.