“Sonoma County Public Land Opened to Growers”
declares Sonoma County’s Press Democrat in this February 15th article.
Under a program endorsed by supervisors, more county land — including parts of parks, school yards, open space parcels and vacant lots in residential areas — would be opened to community gardeners and small commercial farmers.
The cities of Oakland and Portland pioneered similar programs, turning over hundreds of acres of public land to urban gardens. Sonoma County first got into gardening last year with the creation of more than 600 projects, mostly on private land and school yards.
“We’ve got this land. How do we go about giving people access to it?”says Stephanie Larson, director of UCCE in Sonoma County.
The program was praised by health advocates — who believe more local farming and gardening could ease the county’s obesity rate — and small-scale farmers.
“There are a lot of young farmers who want to get into business,” Santa Rosa small farmer Wayne James told reporter Brett Wilkison. “(The county) should really be doing more of this.”
We also feel “the County” (fill in the name of your favorite) should be doing more. School yards, power-line right of ways, flood control areas, all are unused resources we should tap.