Spiral Gardens was originally founded in 1993 as a project of the Agape Foundation for Nonviolent Social Change by a handful of individuals dedicated to urban greening, innovative organic farming methods, food security, and environmental justice issues. It then melded with the Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency (BOSS) Urban Gardening Institute from 1997 through 2004.
In 2003, two vacant city-owned lots on the former Santa Fe Railroad line became a model urban garden center. We accomplished this through a use permit process that included a door-to-door survey of hundreds of neighborhood residents. And, with their overwhelming approval—as well as that of neighborhood councils, a long list of local organizations and merchants, the Parks and Recreation Commission, and the City of Berkeley Planning Department—the proposal was passed unanimously by the Berkeley City Council.
In 2004, we officially incorporated as the Spiral Gardens Community Food Security Project, an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.