On October 23rd, Sacramento’s Urban Agriculture Coalition held a press conference at the Yisrael Family Urban Farm, which is an urban farm located in South Oak Park. It uses agriculture to educate, empower, and employ the residents of Sacramento. The press conference was held to give light on what an urban farm is because many peoples perception of an urban farm is that it’s just like a commercial farm. This press conference dispelled the many of the myths that the public had inside their heads.
The press conference explained what the Sac Urban Ag Coalition is trying to do. The coalition is trying to pass Assembly Bill 551 which would allow residents to sell produce in residential areas. There are a lot of vacant lots in Sacramento’s communities and many people in these communities believe a good way to deal with that problem is through urban agriculture and by taking blighted lots and transforming them into dazzling gardens.
There are several benefits to Urban Farming. First, instead of going to the grocery store, a resident could walk to the community garden and get fresh, healthy fruits and veggies. Also, that will put a hole in their grocery store bill and almost everyone wants to save money. Second, almost everyone wants to have a beautiful neighborhood and having destroyed lots just defeats that purpose. Third, the residents can get organic, non-GMO, rejuvenating produce. Inside of grocery stores, you don’t always really know if your food has pesticides, herbicides, or other chemicals that are poisonous to the mind, body and soul, hence the phrase “You are what you eat”. In a community garden, a resident is right there in the community, so they see the work that goes on to make their food, they can see if chemicals were used.
“The goal of the urban agriculture ordinance is to legalize urban agriculture in the city and county of Sacramento. What we mean by agriculture is the ability to sell produce inside of town,” says Matt Read of the Sacramento’s Urban Agriculture Coalition. “This ordinance would help Sacramento realize it’s title as the “Farm to Fork Capital of the world”. What is missing from the equation is farms that can’t really go to the restaurant that are embracing this title right now, and there’s many people in many communities, who have been farming for a long period of time, that don’t get the credit for it, if we can legitimize urban agriculture then there will be potential there.”
Agriculture is making its way back into the communities of Sacramento and benefiting the residents. With all the things happening with agriculture there are zoning ordinances that prohibit some actions, like the selling of your own produce. Urban farmers and community leaders are banding together to change that.