Open Space Authority Protects 60 Acres for Sustainable Agriculture
The Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority has entered a three-year lease with Spina Farms Pumpkin Patch and Fruit Stand to reopen at a new location at Laguna Avenue and Santa Teresa Boulevard in Coyote Valley.
The 60 acres of prime farmlands (known as Laguna 60) where the festivities will be held was permanently protected by the Open Space Authority in October 2021. The popular pumpkin patch will open September 26 through November 6, with a variety of offerings for youth, families, and others looking for fall fun in the South Bay.
“The Spina Farms Pumpkin Patch and Fruit Stand is no longer operating on the corner of Santa Teresa Boulevard and Bailey Avenue,” says Ronda Estrada, the manager of the pumpkin patch. “But we’re thrilled to keep this tradition alive less than one mile up the road in beautiful Coyote Valley. We are eager to welcome everyone, share our rich farming history, and can’t wait to see all the smiling faces.”
“Keeping Spina Farms in Coyote Valley is a win-win for the whole community,” says Matt Freeman, Assistant General Manager of the Open Space Authority. “The Open Space Authority is dedicated to preserving open space and to keeping working landscapes working. We’re proud to support the families who have farmed and invested in Coyote Valley for many generations, and we are committed to providing additional opportunities in the coming months for new farmers, and those who have long struggled with access to farmlands.”
Since the 1940s, Spina Farms has provided a popular and affordable source of family entertainment. As school field trips continue making a comeback after two years of COVID-19 restrictions, the patch will provide many children and teachers opportunities for in-person agricultural and environmental education. The pumpkin patch also provides seasonal employment for up to 150 local high school students each year.
“These experiences could spark a life-long interest in agriculture, and it’s important for people to learn about the many benefits local farmers and farmlands provide,” says Gary Tognetti, Partner, Spina Farms Pumpkin Patch. “What better way for families to connect with nature, learn about agriculture, and see where our food comes from?”
The Open Space Authority will lease the full 60 acres for the Spina Farms Pumpkin Patch and Fruit Stand until December 1, 2022. After this date, the Spina Farms operations will reduce to 40 acres to allow other farmers the opportunity to apply for leases on the remaining 20 acres.
Purchasing, protecting, and restoring working farms and ranches demonstrates how the Authority is aiding Santa Clara County’s implementation of the comprehensive Santa Clara Valley Agricultural Plan to help combat climate change. The Agricultural Plan serves as a roadmap to protect the multiple benefits that farmlands and working lands provide, including groundwater recharge, flood management, food production, climate mitigation, biodiversity protection, and much more.
For more information about the Open Space Authority’s ongoing efforts to protect and restore the Coyote Valley for water, wildlife, agriculture, and people, visit www.openspaceauthority.org/cvcamp
Related: The Mercury News: Iconic Coyote Valley Pumpkin Patch and Fruit Stand Finds New Home After Lease Termination. By Maggie Angst.