Cities Figure Out How To Accommodate Urban Farming

For my Ted Scripps Fellowship in Environmental Journalism, I’m focusing on projects related to sustainable farming. I’ll be writing several articles on this subject over the course of the next nine months, and have begun with one for Earth Island Journal on how cities facilitate or impede urban farming. Here’s an excerpt:

Anne Cure owns and operates Cure Organic Farm outside the city limits of Boulder, Colorado. She rents eight acres of open space from the City of Boulder. (Photo/Cole Allen)

Anne Cure runs Cure Organic Farm outside the city limits of Boulder, CO. (Photo/Cole Allen)

Across the US, Cities Struggle to Figure Out How to Accommodate Urban Farming

Widespread interest in urban agriculture is forcing local authorities to re-examine rules that prohibit farming in cities

By Sena Christian

Sacramento has worked diligently over the past two years to brand itself as America’s farm-to-fork capital, hosting local food festivals, wine tastings, and gala dinners featuring the city’s premier chefs. Tickets for this year’s dinner, at $175 dollars each, sold out in five minutes. The Sacramento Convention and Visitors Bureau has even organized a cattle drive and tractor parade through downtown.

Sure, nearly 1.4 million acres of farmland exist around the city, which is located in California’s vast and fertile Central Valley region, and the climate is amenable to growing produce year-round (drought complications notwithstanding). But there are no urban farms in Sacramento. The closest and most prominent urban farm, the 55-acre Soil Born Farms, exists outside the city limits.

Sacramento is relatively progressive when it comes to gardening: The city already allows frontyard vegetable gardens, urban chickens, and community gardens on private land and runs 13 community gardens on public land. But farming — that is, growing crops to sell — has fallen behind.

… Read the rest of the article here …

Bountiful: Touring Placer County Farms

I wrote an article about going on a farm and wine tour through Placer County with the company Local Roots, which aims to connect consumers with farmers. It’s all part of that farm-to-fork movement you’ve probably been hearing about. The article appears in the September issue of the Granite Bay View. Read it here. (Photos by Cole Allen).

Carol Iwasaki prepares a delicious peach treat at Twin Peaks Orchards in Newcastle, Calif.

Carol Iwasaki prepares a delicious peach treat at Twin Peaks Orchards in Newcastle, Calif.

Yum yum at Newcastle Produce.

Yum yum at Newcastle Produce.

Rich Colwell owns Thundering Herd Mandarin Farm in Penryn, Calif.
Rich Colwell owns Thundering Herd Mandarin Ranch in Penryn, Calif.