Natural Bridges Farm

The Homeless Garden Project has been at the Natural Bridges Farm location since 1995. This is our core location which is actively being farmed and utilized for our programs. 

Our organic farm's has a social purpose of giving people experiencing homelessness a second chance in life.  In 2016, HGP launched a successful capital campaign to raise funds for a permanent home, and future options are now being considered. The Natural Bridges Farm, where trainees and volunteers work, was the first CSA in the county and had been producing some of the best organic produce in Santa Cruz since 1995.

Visitors Welcome!

  • The Natural Bridges Farm is 3.5 Acres in Size

    Located on Shaffer Road in Santa Cruz

  • Come By the Farm Stand

    Pick from our abundant selection of seasonal vegetables

  • Open from Dawn to Dusk

    For visitors

For Those Who Wish to Receive a Fresh Box of Seasonal Veggies Weekly


Pogonip Farm will be the Homeless Garden Project’s new home, organically farming within the City of Santa Cruz’s Pogonip greenbelt property. It will:

  • Triple our job training capacity through a public-private partnership, growing from 17 to 50 positions each year.
  • Serve as a national model
  • Be the heart of our dynamic agriculture program for people who are experiencing homelessness by teaching skills that transform lives
  •  Provide volunteer opportunities for community members.

With A 20-year lease with three 5-year renewable terms we can focus on long-term stewardship and conservation, allowing us to plant orchards for the first time and build a world-class farm to better serve the Santa Cruz community.

The Beginning

Pogonip is 640 acres of meadows, woodlands, and streams now owned by the City of Santa Cruz. Once, the Ohlone People gathered in its meadows. Later, in the Mexican era, it became part of a 5000-acre rancho. In the nineteenth century, its kilns, quarries, and woodlands provided lime and lumber to build California cities.

Early 20th Century

In the twentieth century, Pogonip became a playground for Santa Cruz society. It was the site of the first 18-hole golf course in the county.

Mid 20th Century

When the golf club failed in the 1930’s depression, the Women’s Polo Club took over. Women (and some men) played polo in the Pogonip meadows up until World War II. Pogonip continued for more than 40 years as a social club with tennis replacing polo as the club sport.


In 1987, the rustic clubhouse was condemned, and, two years later the City of Santa Cruz bought Pogonip with the help of a state park bond. Once the city owned the land, the question became: what should they do with it? Years went by as the City looked for answers.


The city created a nine-member task force to consider options. At the first meeting, sports enthusiasts, nature lovers, equestrians and hikers all presented their dreams. By the following year the task force had whittled the options down to three:

  1. Leave Pogonip as is
  2. Allow multiple uses including hiking and horse trails, a museum, a club, and notably, a garden tended by individuals experiencing homelessness
  3. The second option with the addition of an 18-hole golf course and playing fields


The city voted yes to the second option.


Homeless Garden Projects’ Permanent Farm at Pogonip
The City Council approved the Pogonip Master Plan which designated a nine acre plot of fertile land for the Homeless Garden Project.



Twenty years later, we are working with our partners at the City of Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation to identify a permanent place in the Pogonip Open Space where men and women experiencing homelessness can grow, create, and prosper.