Benjamin Wright POST
By ,
Farmland Program Manager

We need local farms.

They contribute to the health and vibrancy of our communities and economy, and can be really good for the land. But running a local farm today is a daunting task—land is wildly expensive, labor is hard to come by and there are serious obstacles to improving infrastructure.

POST is working to reverse the resulting trend of farmland decline. In 2016, we launched our Farmland Futures Initiative (FFI) with a 10-year goal of tripling the number of protected farms on the San Mateo Coast that ensure farming remains a part of our local heritage. And we’re making great progress.

This spring, Gene and Donna Richeson donated a 102-acre agricultural conservation easement on a portion of their Double Dog Ranch.

The protected parcel, “Double Dog West,” is located in Pescadero along 1,800 feet of Butano Creek, which runs below the hills of POST-protected Cloverdale Ranch. This valley floor is ideal for farming: its deep, fertile soil allows for year-round agricultural production; it has a favorable micro-climate, protected from cool coastal conditions; and it has a rich history of agriculture that has survived for generations. Butano Creek also provides habitat for endangered species and contributes to the biodiversity of this healthy, working farmland.

The Richesons’ donation restricts development on their land in perpetuity and requires continued agricultural use. But what is truly exceptional is that this generous gift removes financial barriers by reducing the property value and making it more affordable for farmers to purchase in the future. This lasting gift to FFI will continue the Richesons’ legacy of supporting local farms in Pescadero.

The current tenant, Fifth Crow Farm, is one of the largest organic producers on the coast and has been supplying communities from Campbell to San Francisco with delicious produce for over 10 years. With an agricultural conservation easement in place, Fifth Crow Farm will also have the security of knowing this land will always need farmers like them who benefit the local community and our environment.

 

Fifth Crow Farm also leases land nearby on POST’s Cloverdale Ranch (shown here). This protected farmland provides the opportunities needed for young farms to take root on the San Mateo Coast. 

We recognize that farms need more than just protected ground and dedicated farmers. That’s why as part of FFI, we’ve increased our efforts to improve agricultural infrastructure as well—work that was key to the Richesons’ support of FFI. From constructing reservoirs, drilling wells and repairing dilapidated buildings, to securing permanent housing for farm workers, we’re doing our part to ensure a healthy, sustainable future for farming on the coast.

                                       

Click here to learn more about our Farmland Program.

About Post

Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) protects open space on the Peninsula and in the South Bay for the benefit of all. Since its founding in 1977, POST has been responsible for saving more than 78,000 acres as permanently protected land in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties. Learn more Learn more Learn more

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