In the Sunol Valley, beyond the subdivisions of Pleasanton, Fred Hempel grows tomatoes alongside other farmers growing figs, strawberries, and more. It’s all part of an unusual experiment in micro-farming unfolding under the leadership of Sustainable Agriculture Education on land owned by the San Francisco water department.
The San Francisco Bay Area may be one of the densest metropolitan areas of the country, but roughly 40 percent of the region's total land area is made up of farms and rangelands.
Bayer Farm brings open space and food security to a section of Santa Rosa that needs more of both. With help from the nonprofit Landpaths, people in the Roseland neighborhood are helping each other plant and harvest food, and community.
Organic and sustainable aren’t terms often associated with Richmond, home to a Chevron refinery and a General Chemical plant. But those were two of the most frequently heard words on Saturday, at the first-ever West Contra Costa County Urban Agriculture Summit in North Richmond. Despite pouring rain, nearly 100 people gathered at Sunnyside Organic Seedlings to exchange ideas about bringing new models of food-growing to the area.
It all started with some crooked zucchinis in Bolinas. They didn’t conform to the strict aesthetic standards of the market, so they were snipped from the vine and left to rot. The folks at Marin Organic recognized an opportunity and, and the group’s School Lunch and Gleaning Program was born.
Last year, City Slicker Farms grew and distributed almost 7,000 pounds of pay-what-you-can produce in West Oakland. That number may double in coming years, thanks to a $4 million grant the nonprofit won last week. City Slicker Farms will use the money purchase and develop a 1.4-acre neighborhood farm and park.
People travel from around the world to visit the America’s National Parks. They come for scenery, wildlife, human history. But rarely do they come for the food. Instead they usually find the same fare available at most any shopping mall food court. That may soon change soon thanks to work being done at the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
There are many local farms in the Bay Area where families can visit to learn about how food is grown and raised and meet the farmers who make it happen.
It’s easy to forget how much of the Bay Area was once a working landscape. Row crops, orchards, and pastures held sway in places now covered by freeways and houses. But a surprising amount of that working land endures in our parks and preserves. In the East Bay, ranchers still run cattle on thousands of acres of land, both public and private. And in a few places, thanks to the East Bay Regional Park District, kids and adults can learn firsthand about skills people once took for granted: how to plant a seed, plow a field, grind grain into flour, or spin wool into yarn.
In West Marin, the Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT) has purchased an agricultural conservation easement on the 585-acre Dolcini Ranch, a property the land trust has been seeking to protect for over a decade. Located eight miles south of Petaluma, … Read more
Walnut grower Craig McNamara often gets asked about his father, Robert McNamara, former U.S. secretary of defense (1961—68) and World Bank president (1968—81). But the younger McNamara lives far removed from the halls of power in Washington: Since buying his … Read more