There is one thing every human being has in common – we all need to eat!
Those of us who live in California are blessed with an abundance of fresh food, year-round. Our grocery stores are home to plentiful produce sections, that are the envy of those who live in less-fresh places. Californians are lucky to have this abundant variety, thanks to the hard work of the farmers whose fields surround our cities and grow more than 400 crops. And with our Farm to Fork movement growing, many of us are enjoying a new awareness of the fruits of California’s farms.
Our farms produce an incredible amount of food, fiber, and foliage for our people. California grows 99% of the almonds, artichokes, peaches, and walnuts in America – plus 10 other crops. We have a unique combination of climate, soil, and water that enables California farms to feed not just our state, but the nation and even the world.
California’s farms aren’t the only thing growing, so are our cities. As California’s population booms, the farms that feed us are being turned into strip malls, parking lots, warehouses, and other uses that can’t feed us. The trend of paving over our best farmland is unsustainable and cannot continue. If nothing is done, we will reach a tipping point, with too many people and not enough land to grow the food and fiber on which we depend.
That’s where the California Farmland Trust comes in. We work with willing farmers, who want to ensure their farms will remain farms… forever. We help them place legal protections on their properties, called easements, that require the land remain a farm. We also take kids to farms, for a first hand understanding of the unique farmland where their food comes from.
We hope that our efforts will go beyond simply conserving farms, and lead to a new appreciation of California’s best farmland as an inherently valuable natural resource to be appreciated, not paved.