Awesome People: NOMAD Gardens

Today I’m super excited to share the first installment of our new series sharing a peek into people I’ve met through blogging or in person that I’m super proud of for taking the leap into some amazing new ventures. I think the most powerful aspect of the blog world is the community that is built and the creativity that abounds and I’m really impressed with the many talents of the folks I’ve had the privilege to meet as a result.

Although, ironically, the first showcase is someone I met long before this blog was even a dream on the horizon. But, I have good reasons for introducing you to this venture first.

Introducing Awesome People Katie and Stephanie

And their Awesome Thing: NOMAD Gardens.

Katie, the Project Director behind NOMAD Gardens was actually my college roommate. We went to architecture school together and travelled abroad together and I’m so excited to share this new awesome venture of hers!

NOMAD Gardens is a ‘Roaming’ community garden and art space that  arose out of Stephanie and Katie’s work at Urban Matters Design Lab. Design. Located in the Mission Bay neighborhood of San Francisco, the idea is that this community garden will be designed in such a way that it can relocate and make use of any available vacant parcel of land, making the gardens more accessible to more people. While garden plots are a pretty common element in many urban centers, the fact that this one is constantly changing locations creates vitality through the community art space and brings the identity of different portions of the neighborhood into the garden over time. A lot of urban pea patches also have extremely long waiting lists making it difficult to have access, which was one of the driving forces behind the development of this project.

The garden plots will be constructed out of small sized containers (metal troughs and reused shipping pallets) which means they can be moved around easily with a forklift without disrupting the plantings within. So cool, right?! The temporary use of vacant sites that are underdeveloped allows better access for urban gardeners to spaces within the city because they can utilize all types of lots instead of just that which is zoned for green space.

They’ve developed a preliminary rendering of their “Site 1” to show how easily an active garden space can transform an otherwise desolate urban lot. Its amazing how a group of people can come together to bring beauty to these spaces, and the spaces give back in the form of small-scale local agriculture. Doesn’t this look like a place you would love to hang out? Summer evening movies in the garden?! YES PLEASE!

These gals (and the rest of their team) have put in a ton of work towards making this a well designed, viable project that has community and municipal support and is ready to get off the ground.

So why does NOMAD get the joy of being our first Awesome Thing? Because they are currently fundraising to get Phase 1 of this project up and running. I know I’m frequently posting around here about places where you can donate money, and I hope you all know its for the right reasons. Believe me when I say I wouldn’t share about these causes unless I really, really believed in what they are doing.

Right now you can fund NOMAD Gardens through Indiegogo. If you’re in the SF area, there is an awesome gift of a chef’s dinner IN the garden once it is up and running. . I can’t think of a better way to spend a summer evening. Or, get one of the following awesome rewards:


Also if you’re in the Bay Area, you can attend a fundraiser next week for which tickets are free and proceeds from the bar go to fund the garden

Can’t donate but still want to spread the word? The folks at NOMAD shared a few suggested tweets in their last campaign newsletter. Feel free to copy and tweet one of the following:

They are also looking for local folks interested in volunteering.

Other ways to connect with Katie, Stephanie, and the rest of the NOMAD Gardens crew via Facebook, Twitter, and their Blog.

Thats it for the first installment of Awesome People doing Awesome Things. Pretty awesome, right? Below is a sneak peek of the fabulous people we’ll be sharing in coming weeks. If you have a suggestion of someone that should be featured, shoot us an e-mail – ravennagirls [at] gmail [dot] com.



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4 thoughts on “Awesome People: NOMAD Gardens

  1. This is fantastic all around! Their brilliant idea can easily translate to schools as well, and answers the question of what to do with the planter if more space needs to be used to accomodate more kids or portables. You can just pick it up and move it to another location. Love this! Love that you are bringing attention to so much awesome!

  2. Very cool! I love this behind-the-scenes look you’ve given us. And – this new feature you’ve got is really interesting. Looking forward to seeing what else you’ve got up your sleeve! :)

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