Micro-Farm in Point Loma Looking for Community Gardeners

by on January 8, 2014 · 14 comments

in Culture, Environment, Health, Labor, Ocean Beach

Herb en RoutesA micro-farm that has been producing organic crops on upper Voltaire Street for nearly two  years is now opening itself up for community gardeners.

Herb En Routes- run by Paige and Danielle- has been growing sustainable and local produce on .25 acres on a previously vacant lot at 4113 Voltaire – across from the pet hospital.

They were selling organically grown produce to local restaurants, such as Tender Greens, To The Point Cafe, Farmhouse Cafe, and the Pearl Hotel and Restaurant.

In addition, organizers of the farm had a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program that provided veggies for 25 local families.

Paige and Danielle have now decided this endeavor is a bit too time consuming for them. So, they have decided to turn the farm into a community garden to allow them to work towards other careers but still continue to serve the community.

Starting this month, there are garden plots for rent, starting at $16 a month.  Both irrigated and non-irrigated plots are available.

They provide:

  •  Water
  • Growing Space
  • Greenhouse/Tool Storage

You Bring:

  •  enthusiasm to Grow
  • Seeds/Plants
  • Tools

For more info, visit their website WWW.HERBENROUTES.COM – and to sign up, contact them at  info@herbenroutes.com .

Their mission of providing local produce and opportunities for teaching sustainable agriculture lives on!

 

 

 

 

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar ObJamie January 8, 2014 at 9:55 pm

Perhaps the community should have been invited to participate in some way two years ago…..I don’t want to sound, stiff, but my opinions are my opinions and I felt (not saying CORRECTLY) this was a vanity project that had ZERO interest in fostering any sense of community in those two years.

I live 50 yards away. There was ONE event there that I am aware of in two years, and it had a $45 price tag to attend. If I move my garden into your hood, I introduce myself, welcome visitors/strangers, and communicate openess, but hey that’s just me.

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avatar da john January 10, 2014 at 4:12 pm

OBJamie I really think you are a troll.

You are complaining about them not letting the public in, in an article about them letting the public in. You complained about the development on Voltaire and Catalina, and now you are slamming a private farm ON THE SAME BLOCK for not building anything on their land, but keeping it private. I would be really afraid to see your middle ground, if it exists.

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avatar ObJamie January 10, 2014 at 8:48 pm

You failed to address my questions to you in another thread…and now you call me a troll?

Well, when you can’t beat the argument, go after the arguer. Duly noted.

They spent two years there, Da John….Closed gates buddy…Closed gates…They were not interested in inviting the community, the public, whatever you want to call us.

You are the same guy that tried to tell me about the parking situation in my neighborhood after a five minute visit right? You assured me, a 6 year resident of this block, that I and my neighbors had PLENTY of parking right? BWahahahha you are hysterical.

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avatar da john January 11, 2014 at 9:40 am

Closed gates, so what. What do they owe you? they made a business farming. They paid rent on the property. I’m sure keeping people who would want to take free food etc. was needed to keep their business profitable.

As for the public, I live right up on the street (Actually in OB though) and think these people are and did a pretty cool thing, Am I not considered part of the public in your mind because I don’t have an immediate knee jerk reaction to any change that takes place in my community?

Here is what someone else on here said about the place “they’ve also invited the community in for farm tours, held a farm stand on site, offered a CSA to distribute produce to people living nearby, and always welcomed people who stopped by the farm to check it out and chat.: did you ever try any of those options?

Anyways, they are opening it up now to everyone for 16 bucks a month, pay up or move along, what the hell good does complaining about the past do for anyone? NOTHING.

As for parking, you are straight up lying if you say you can’t find a free public spot within 500′ of Voltaire and Catalina, any time of the day. If you cant walk half a block, you should probably rent a place with a driveway.

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avatar ObJamie January 15, 2014 at 1:44 am

“I’m sure keeping people who would want to take free food etc. was needed to keep their business profitable. ” bwhahaha need any more rope to hang yourself?

“As for the public, I live right up on the street (Actually in OB though) and think these people are and did a pretty cool thing, Am I not considered part of the public in your mind because I don’t have an immediate knee jerk reaction to any change that takes place in my community?” Huh?

“Here is what someone else on here said about the place “they’ve also invited the community in for farm tours, held a farm stand on site, offered a CSA to distribute produce to people living nearby, and always welcomed people who stopped by the farm to check it out and chat.: did you ever try any of those options?” Did you read my post? Sigh. Closed gates John, closed Gates.

Anyways, they are opening it up now to everyone for 16 bucks a month, pay up or move along, what the hell good does complaining about the past do for anyone? NOTHING. How dare I voice my dissenting opinion on a progressive, local forum! You sound like a fascist.

“As for parking, you are straight up lying if you say you can’t find a free public spot within 500? of Voltaire and Catalina, any time of the day. If you cant walk half a block, you should probably rent a place with a driveway.” Any time of day? How about night-time? Weekends? I don’t lie on message boards…or anywhere else. Admit you have been outed for being a j/a know it all. That knows, well, clearly close to nothing.

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avatar Debbie January 9, 2014 at 8:35 am

plots starting at $16 per month…

maybe this is revenue generating to pay to lease the land until the development gets built?

Why didn’t they just sell from this location and give Point Loma a local farmers market?

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avatar Judy Swink January 9, 2014 at 11:13 am

It crossed my mind to wonder about eventual disposition of the land. I believe that the property owner has has development permits in hand for some years – perhaps now lapsed, though – for this parcel all the way to San Clemente St. (across from Karen’s Consignment).

Because this is on privately owned & leased land, I don’t think it’s appropriate to shoot arrows at them for what someone believes they should have done, and I think their participation in CSA certainly qualifies as a community benefit. The restaurants that they sold produce to were a logical outlet to help pay for the lease, water and other expenses associated with the project.

There was, in fact, more than one dinner party – I have seen several over time. When I saw one going on once, I looked online and learned that one could sign up for the price of $45, a bit rich for me but it’s their right as a business to set their own prices. I’m happy to learn that they are finally opening up for community gardening. A farmer’s market would be great but I think there are permits and hoops to jump through for that to happen.

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avatar Paige January 9, 2014 at 6:27 pm

Hey Everybody,

Thank you OBRag for writing about us! Additionally, thank you all for reading about the community garden opening, we are very excited about this next endeavor for Herb En Routes. If anyone has any questions about our motivation or experience in the past, we’d love to talk to you in person. Contact us at info@herbenroutes.com. Additionally, thanks for the support Judy, urban agriculture is a tough business and we have done our best to serve the community while continuing to float a small and extremely labor intensive business.

Thanks!
Paige

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avatar Paige January 9, 2014 at 6:30 pm

Hey Everybody,

Thank you OBRag for writing about us! Additionally, thank you all for reading about the community garden opening, we are very excited about this next endeavor for Herb En Routes. If anyone has any questions about our motivation or experience in the past, we’d love to talk to you in person. Contact us at info@herbenroutes.com. Additionally, thanks for the support Judy, urban agriculture is a tough business and we have done our best to serve the community while continuing to float a small and extremely labor intensive local business.

Thanks!
Paige

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avatar Valerie January 10, 2014 at 10:01 am

OBJaime, I was an OB resident when the farm first started (I’ve since had to move for grad school), although I lived further down the street. I think that the farm has definitely fostered a sense of community over the past two years. You’re right that they’ve held fundraising events, but they’ve also invited the community in for farm tours, held a farm stand on site, offered a CSA to distribute produce to people living nearby, and always welcomed people who stopped by the farm to check it out and chat. I’ve met both of the owners of Herb en Routes, and they are absolutely committed to growing food that’s fresh, healthy, and filled with OB pride. One of the owners even grew up in OB.

As far as I see it, a community garden is just another great step in bringing the community together and engaging everyone in growing healthier, local food. I really recommend you go down to the farm and talk to them. They’ve only ever been open and welcoming when I’ve stopped by.

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avatar ObJamie January 10, 2014 at 8:58 pm

“You’re right that they’ve held fundraising events:”

I said one event. That a flyer was posted for, maybe some time last year. Was there other events I did not know about? Were they listed on the web-site?

“but they’ve also invited the community in for farm tours,”
When and how?

“held a farm stand on site, offered a CSA to distribute produce to people living nearby, and always welcomed people who stopped by the farm to check it out and chat. ”
I walked by the place 100 times….closed gates. Every time. I would stare longingly at the fresh herbs and flowers, sometimes the chickens. Never even received a hello or acknowledgement. Maybe I didn’t fit the profile?

“I’ve met both of the owners of Herb en Routes, and they are absolutely committed to growing food that’s fresh, healthy, and filled with OB pride. One of the owners even grew up in OB.” That is a great. But it doesn’t change what I stated in my original post.

A quick check of the web site reveals 3 events, two of which looked like executive chef – based events.

I stick by my original post. Perhaps I just didn’t fit the profile of the “community” they wanted to involved.

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avatar OB Wood January 10, 2014 at 5:43 pm

What a great idea. Good luck, guys!

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avatar Jackie January 11, 2014 at 9:12 am

I find it incredulous that you could deem this project a “vanity project” as the entire operation was opened and run with the Ocean Beach Community in mind. First they took an ugly dirt plot that has been an eye sore for a decade and turned into something beautiful and interesting. They ran an excellent CSA package that served the local community, they sold to local restaurants, they hosted amazing dinners that featured local chefs and brought many groups of people together that would not have been introduced to each other. It’s a shame you were unable to participate in this because of the price tag, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a valuable and worthwhile endeavor to those that were able to participate. If the previous list did not adequately show enough “interest in the community” I they gave numerous tours to preschool and school aged children about growing local and healthy food!

While I am sad to hear that Herb en Routes is changing its original focus I think its admirable that these ladies would VOLUNTEER their time to turn it in to a community garden. Hats off to Paige and Danielle for vision, hard work and love of fresh food!

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avatar Debbie January 11, 2014 at 11:23 am

Thank you for……tours to preschool and school aged children about growing local and healthy food!

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