Mission District Commune + Spanish Chestnuts

 Kaliflowr Commune - 23rd Street

Kaliflowr Commune - 23rd Street

On the south side of 23rd Street between Shotwell and Folsom is a fenced-in property (a white fence stretches most of the block between Shotwell and Folsom Streets). The owner of the property is the Kaliflower commune, a group with a colorful history that has been in existence since the 1960s, and in this location since 1974. The commune tends a small orchard over the fence, with citrus and avocado trees. (You often can see avocados hanging in the trees.) The group also planted the food-producing Spanish chestnuts (Castanea sativa) and almond trees (Prunus dulcis) fronting the property.   (The chestnuts and almonds are the only examples of each that I know of on San Francisco streets.)   And as of when I walked by earlier today someone had planted an artichoke in an empty tree basin.  

As I write this in late November, the sidewalk underfoot is thick with the prickly shells of the chestnuts, which had come out earlier in the fall.  

If you'd like to take a neighborhood tour where the Kaliflowr commune and these trees are included, check out the Mission Neighborhood Tour in my book