Everyone needs food. But in many parts of the state, including here in our region, there is food scarcity. According to recent research from Second Harvest Food Bank, one in four people in Santa Clara County are at risk of hunger. With a changing climate, protecting the foundation of our food systems (farms and ranches) is imperative. In addition to protecting these operations and the lands they depend on, the Open Space Authority is exploring sustainable and responsive management practices that support local farmers and ranchers, promote the resilience of food production, increase soil health, and minimize the carbon footprint of agriculture in the region.
In late 2021, the Open Space Authority -- in partnership with the State of California Department of Conservation through the Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation program (SALC), Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), and the Santa Clara County Planning Department -- protected sixty acres of prime farmland at Laguna Avenue and Santa Teresa Boulevard in the middle of Coyote Valley (also known as Mid Coyote Valley).
The property became known as “Laguna 60.”
Spade & Plow, a family-owned organic farm, has announced an exciting new partnership with Van Dyke Ranch in Gilroy. Keep reading to learn how this benefits local communities and helps with the implementation of the Santa Clara Valley Agricultural Plan, a joint strategy of Santa Clara County and the Open Space Authority to protect farmland from development and reduce greenhouse gas emissions which directly contribute to climate change.
In January 2022, Julie Morris was appointed as County Agricultural Liaison, a Cooperative Extension position supported by the Santa Clara County Agricultural Division and University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources. Guided by the Santa Clara Valley Agricultural Plan, (written in partnership between Santa Clara County and the Open Space Authority) Morris is working to promote and protect agriculture in the region. With 30 years of experience in ranching, journalism, and food marketing, she is well-qualified to support the County’s efforts to conserve agricultural viability and productivity.
You don’t need a big backyard to grow your own food. What you do need, however, is patience, a bit of resilience, and according to most everyone we talked to, forgiveness. We gathered insights from a few of our staff members and garden-based grantees to help guide you through creating a garden of your own.
In the San Martin region of Santa Clara County sits Frantoio Grove, a family-owned and operated specialty olive oil company that just turned 15 years old. The 30-acre grove is part of a roughly 97-acre property that is now permanently protected for agriculture through an Agricultural Conservation Easement (ACE). The land, initially anticipated to become a subdivision development, will now remain productive farmland and protected from development.
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