In the very center of what is a diverse community of recent immigrants from third world countries is an institution, founded by a young man, Bill Tall who grew up in this evolving neighborhood. City Farmers Nursery has been in existence since 1972, according to their website. Sitting on approximately an acre of land, Bill’s philosophy is to be the antithesis of the big box retailer. He is also very involved in the local environmental community speaking at Monsanto rallies and holding educational classes on everything from canning to raising chickens and starting garden beds. City Farmers Nursery offers many unique plants and items that you won’t find at other nurseries and visiting the grounds is like visiting a small farm. On the grounds are horses, goats, turtles, tilapia, chickens, turkeys, roosters, parrots and other birds, a friendly Rottweiler and a cat that sleeps on the register counter most times I have been there.
Last year, Nate’s Garden Grill opened up on the grounds serving up organic farm fresh ingredients with a smart selection of craft brews with a hipster down-home vibe going on. At the cafe’ you order at the counter and sit down at one of the tables amidst local artwork and a selection of books and games in the bookcase. Families stream in, Dads with their steampunk hats and moms with their sugar skull tattoos and eco-concious diaper bags. For breakfast, biscuits are homemade, bacon is crispy pork-belly or lunch includes such favorites as locally-made bratwurst sausage on a pretzel bun with sauerkraut.
Further offerings on the grounds include a coffee cart just outside of the nursery where you can get espresso drinks or a homemade danish to go or fresh-squeezed lemonade in a relaxed, garden setting.
City Farmers Nursery is a must-see, a diamond in the rough and worth a venture into a misunderstood rough neighborhood, a city where the weeds are pushing through the pavement and the grit and blooming wildflowers.