A project to convert 10 acres of land into an urban farm in east Bexar County is underway and could bring opportunities to the community.
The land, located near North Walters and Sherman streets, has been empty for years.
Bexar County Precinct 4 County Commissioner Tommy Calvert said the county purchased the land from Union Pacific for $800,000, and it will be called ‘Greenies Urban Farm.’
“We would love for people who have diabetes and other ailments to literally be prescribed to go down to the urban farm and get you some fresh fruits and vegetables,” Calvert said.
Calvert said the county allocated about $3.5 million for the project. He said the space will include gardens, livestock, a vineyard, an event center and a new location for Bexar County’s Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Program.
“We have been renting at the tune of $20,000 a month for our Bexar County AG Service. So we’re gonna take that $20,000 a month we pay at (Loop) 410 and Cherry Ridge, and we’re gonna apply that to the debt service for this particular building," Calvert said.
Calvert said the farm can be used to educate the community, too.
“There’ll be classes like falconry and making honey and beer and wine and all kinds of food classes,” Calvert said.
The urban farm could also bring more jobs and help people save money on their grocery bills by buying produce at a reduced cost or getting it for free.
“There will be opportunities to take seeds and different plants home and learn (how) to have vegetables in your own backyard,” Calvert said.
The commissioner said residents deserve the empty lot be turned into something positive for the community.
“We'll be able to restore some of that great agricultural history here. It has been challenged by blight and neglect and a lack of investment,” Calvert said.
Their timeline for construction is still not clear. The county is still finalizing architecture and engineering plans.