Building the Farm in Phases
Our plan to build the farm’s infrastructure has four well-defined phases.
Phase I: Utilities and Site Grading
We will begin the first phase of farm construction in the Spring of 2020 by starting site grading and installing all of the permanent farm utilities and as well as by clearing the way for permanent roads. These are the first steps in the implementation of the ultimate design.
The crop rows that we’ve built will be untouched by construction. Everything else will be affected, moved and changed.
This part of the construction is funded.
The Fred Jackson Way Project
As a part of Phase I the Fred Jackson Way Project will replace the ditches along Fred Jackson Way (which runs adjacent to the North Richmond Farm) with a sidewalk, a bike lane and rain gardens. Adding sidewalks and bike lanes from Wildcat Creek to Parr Blvd will ease access to the farm for local North Richmond residents and the rain gardens will filter the pollutants from the roadway sending cleaner, filtered rain water to nearby San Pablo Creek.
In 2015 Urban Tilth was awarded a Coastal Conservancy Grant to design improvements along Fred Jackson way. The design process was completed at the end of 2018.
The wonderful news is that now we have a Proposition 1 Coastal Conservancy Grant for the actual construction! This grant which supports the North Richmond Watershed Connections Project is part of a much larger grant awarded to Contra Costa County and will support urban greening work led by Contra Costa County Transportation Division, the Watershed Project and Urban Tilth. We estimate that construction for this project will begin in the Spring of 2020.
Learn more about the North Richmond Watershed Connections Project:
Phase II: Farm Infrastructure
We expect to be ready to start with this phase in 2020. We will build all the facilities that help grow food: the greenhouse, the shed house, the tool shed, the permanent crop rows, the walkways, the 80 plus trees in the orchard. In the end, we will have 100 crop rows, making as much production space as possible within the area that we have while allowing access to the rows.
This part of the construction is partially funded.
Phase III: Barn and Farm Stand
We will build an indoor wash impact area, a meeting room where we can host our own and other groups’ events, and a farm stand — a permanent place for people to come any day of the week to get fruit and vegetables and other products that we make and that our partners make. It will be a place where we can employ local residents to work.
This structure will also include what we are calling “the Barn” which will be an indoor wash and packing facility for the produce we harvest and distribute on the farm as well as a community meeting room and adjacent patio spaces with a view of the farm. This meeting room will answer the need expressed by community members and local organization to have a low-cost place to host community workshops, meetings and other events in an inspiring, natural location.
Phase IV: Cafe and Community Commercial Kitchen
During the final phase of construction will build the cafe, community commercial kitchen, an amphitheater and permanent office for Urban Tilth. The Community Commercial Kitchen will make it possible to host cooking demonstrations, workshops, as well as to process produce grown on the farm to make jam or sauces, for example, but also it will be a place for local residents to use the commercial kitchen for their food enterprises they can afford that will make it possible to make a profit and grow their businesses towards sustainability. During this phase we will also install the History Walk which is envisioned as an homage tothe history of North Richmond in collaboration with local artists, using inset tiles and interpretative signage incorporating historic photographs and stories from North Richmond’s rich past. We are collaborating with the Richmond History Museum and community elders to gather the history, photos, and stories that will illustrate this project.
*Keep up-to-date with our progress by visiting our Farm Construction News blog
Learn more about the Future Farm:
- Design Team
- Architectural Designs
- Construction Timeline