Aunt Em’s Urban Inn+Farm is San Francisco’s first and only farmstay! At their inn and farm, you’d never know you were right smack dab in the middle of a sophisticated big-city.
Aunt Em’s got started as a family business, with the active participation of their two adult sons who provide a lot of the “muscle” even a small farm requires.
Em says, “When we first started our urban farm, we got so good at producing certain crops we always had extra. We gave a lot of it away but now that San Francisco has passed urban farming legislation, we can legally sell our produce from our home base.”
Their specialty is geared toward the seasons and their microclimate: foggy cool weather punctuated by warm, breezy days. Em says, “We excel at growing greens, but right now have a plethora of Kefir lime leaves. Local Thai chefs use this exotic herb to create delicious stir-fries, soups and salads. We can now offer it for a limited time only to Pick-a-Pepper customers.”
The Inn that is connected to the farm was Em’s idea. About the inn she says, “I just wanted to do something positive to influence our current environmental situation. Our guests see us working the soil, weeding, picking and eating delicious seasonal food. They learn how to be organic, how to compost and how to use less chemicals. As a green business, we for example do not use cleaning chemicals. Just white vinegar, baking soda, water and a good steam cleaner for disinfecting the bathroom. That’s it!”
Aunt Em’s isn’t a big operation by any means. It’s a micro-farm. But guests see the space, the setup, the compost bins and get a chance to do the recycling – some for the very first time in their lives. Being from far-flung destinations on the planet: Spain, Australia, Brazil, Chile, South Africa, Tunisia, Finland – they all learn a bit and bring this knowledge back with them to their homes. They’ve even had guests who are now demanding recycling from their local governments because of what they do at Aunt Em’s!
Here is their message: Green is simple. It’s easy. Everyone can do it.
Aunt Em’s Urban Inn+Farm is a great example of Urban Agriculture in action.
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