This Woman Has an Itty-Bitty Farm in the City—Here’s the Amazing Way She’s Making It Work

In a quest to serve her daughter healthy food, this San Francisco mom started a backyard farm. See it on 'Dark Rye,' the TV series from our sister network, Pivot, and Whole Foods Market®, airing Sundays at 10:30 a.m. ET/7:30 a.m. PT.
Apr 15, 2014·
Andrew Freeman is a California native with a degree in history from UCLA. He is particularly interested in politics and policy.

It all started when Heidi Kooy was at the grocery store, stumped. After spending 15 minutes deciphering the different egg labels, trying to make the healthiest choice for her daughter, Kooy decided she was going to buy her own chickens and raise her own food—in the heart of San Francisco.

Space is limited in the Excelsior District neighborhood where she and her family live, the houses practically stacked on top of one another. The dense urban setting is a far cry from the Nebraska fields she grew up on, but Kooy makes the most of her space.

Her backyard, just 250 square feet, is packed with onions, tomatoes, lettuce, and other vegetables. She has two chickens, Sweet Pea and Coco Puff, that provide three to four eggs a day for her family. Two miniature dwarf goats, Lucy and Ethel, meet all of their dairy needs. They roam in the garden, eat weeds in her neighbor’s yard, and occasionally go for walks in McClaren Park.

To see more inspiring stories like Heidi’s, tune in to Dark Rye. On the April 16 episode we get tips to take the perfect picture from Instagram giant Mike Kus, see the engineering projects MAKE editor-in-chief Mark Frauenfelder and his daughters are working on, and learn how farm in a food desert with the Massachusetts Avenue Project.

Hungry for more Dark Rye? Whet your appetite with exclusive videos, and tune in every Sunday at 10:30 a.m. ET/7:30 a.m. PT, only on Pivot.