Zenger Farm is a city of Portland-owned operation that dates back to the early 1900s, might offer some ideas for what the city of Boise could do with Spaulding Ranch, a historic farm south of Capital High School in Boise’s West Bench neighborhood, Holloway said.
The city acquired Spaulding Ranch last year in a land swap with LocalConstruct, a developer that plans to put apartments and commercial space on a lot in the West End area between Main Street, Fairview Avenue, Whitewater Park Boulevard and 27th Street.
Spaulding Ranch, including its buildings, has a historic significance to Boise that Zenger Farms doesn’t carry in Portland, Holloway said. Nevertheless, there are some similarities between what Portland is doing with Zenger Farm and what city of Boise leaders and people interested in Spaulding Ranch’s future have proposed. Holloway and Clegg want to talk to the people who run Zenger Farm to see if that model would work here, Holloway said.
Boise might someday ask the leaders of Zenger Farm to visit Boise to consult with teams here about how urban farming might work.
Holloway said an urban farming initiative at Spaulding Ranch could be the first step of a more extensive effort to grow food and other plants on city property.
“No question about it: Local food production has long been a very strong interest with (Mayor David Bieter) and with the (City) Council,” he said. “And that really was the whole reasoning behind the very strong interest in working out an arrangement to get Spaulding Ranch in the city’s portfolio.”