Our Farms

The Homeless Garden Project currently has two farms; the Natural Bridges location, which is actively being farmed and utilized for our programs, and the new Pogonip Farm, which will be the permanent location, currently in the development phase. The Natural Bridges Farm, which is worked by trainees and volunteers has 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


JOIN OUR CSA TODAY
FARMING ORGANICALLY ON
0.5
ACRES OF LAND
PUTTING DOWN ROOTS FOR
0
YEARS OF SUSTAINABILITY
SERVING AND EMPLOYING
0
TRAINEES

Pogonip Farm will be the Homeless Garden Project’s new home, organically farming 9.5 acres within the City of Santa Cruz’s 640-acre 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

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

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

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.

1987

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.

1991

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

1993

The city voted yes to the second option.

1998

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.

 

Currently

Twenty years later, this dream is coming to fruition. The meadow that once was home to golfers and polo players will provide a permanent place where men and women experiencing homelessness can grow, create, and prosper.