Saturday, October 4, 2008

A Small But Fruitful Plot

In 2006, Kraus persuaded the Public Utilities Commission to grant her access to the unused land for a one-year trial period. In exchange, her organization found applicants in search of fertile ground and committed to growing food sustainably and providing educational opportunities.

After the first year proved to be a success, Kraus secured a nine-year lease agreement with the SFPUC, which granted $65,000 to cover basic infrastructure costs. The utility has been consistently supportive, she said. The 18 acres, all recently certified organic, are now occupied by six farming projects of varying sizes, including a containerized fig-growing operation and a garden producing for a Pleasanton buying cooperative. All tenants pay a modest rent.

"I think the basic idea is we need to share resources," said Peter Rudnick, the project's farm manager, who helped start Green Gulch Farm in Marin County 30 years ago with his wife, author Wendy Johnson.

"It's no longer (true) that people can just go out and buy land," Rudnick said. "When public agencies have land, it's really a benefit for everyone's land-use needs, especially for people to come out and grow food."

From the San Francisco Chronicle. Follow the link to read the entire article.

How did these folks find this land? Through Farmlink! Check it out.

No comments: