Peninsula Open Space Trust Protects Coastside Farmland Through Agricultural Conservation Easement on Double Dog Ranch

Project supports long-term farming on the San Mateo coast as part of POST’s Farmland Futures Initiative

(Palo Alto, Calif.)—Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) today announced an agricultural conservation easement on 102 acres of active farmland on the San Mateo coast. The land is on the western portion of Double Dog Ranch, located on Cloverdale Road about two miles outside Pescadero, near Butano State Park. The Double Dog West easement is being donated by longtime landowners Gene and Donna Richeson and guarantees that the land will be used only for agricultural purposes in perpetuity, regardless of ownership changes.

“Thriving local farms have long been the backbone of Pescadero’s economy, creating jobs for local workers and providing the greater community with fresh, healthy local produce,” said Walter T. Moore, president of POST. “I applaud the Richesons for their commitment to ensuring the viability of the San Mateo coast’s farming legacy into the future – a vision they share with POST.”

The Double Dog West easement brings to seven the number of farms protected by POST since the Farmland Futures Initiative (FFI) was launched in 2015. As part of the agreement with the Richesons, POST has committed to investing the equivalent value of their $2 million easement donation into additional FFI infrastructure projects. These include constructing reservoirs, repairing buildings and securing farmworker housing.

“Our family has strong ties to the farming community here, so partnering with POST to secure the long-term future of farming operations on Double Dog Ranch made complete sense,” said Gene Richeson, who has owned the property with his wife Donna since 1992. “POST shares our respect and love for the incredible history and people of the Coastside, and we all recognize the critical role that farming plays in our community’s vitality.”

Fifth Crow Farm has been working the land on Double Dog West since 2008. The thriving, certified organic farming business currently works on 80 acres, cultivating a mix of row crops, orchard fruit and pastured eggs. It supplies seven Bay Area farmer’s markets and over a dozen restaurants. It also operates a Community Supported Agriculture program, that delivers diverse shares of local, organic produce to several locations on the Peninsula.

“Gene and Donna have been amazingly supportive landlords from the first day we began farming the land at Double Dog Ranch,” said John Vars, co-founder of Fifth Crow Farm. “The donation of this agricultural conservation easement, and POST’s commitment to pay it forward in the form of infrastructure spending that helps farmers, ensures that others benefit from the Richesons’ generosity, while also securing the land’s future. For years, Fifth Crow Farm has used the tag line ‘Nutritious food grown with future generations in mind.’ We are fortunate to have partners like POST and the Richeson family, who also have future generations in mind and are willing to collaborate to keep beautiful working landscapes protected and viable.”

POST has been working to ensure the longevity of local farms on the San Mateo Coast since the 1980s. This agreement is part of POST’s Farmland Future Initiative (FFI), which works to reverse the trend of disappearing farmland on the San Mateo Coast through a combination of land acquisition, legal land protection and strategic investments in infrastructure. Driven by the belief that sustainable and environmentally responsible farming is good for the land and contributes to the vitality of local communities, POST works with farmland owners and operators to secure farmland and their associated natural resources. Since 2015, FFI has focused on the San Mateo Coast and has protected seven farms totaling 669 acres and initiated restoration of six additional protected farms along with a variety of farm infrastructure improvements across the area.

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About Peninsula Open Space Trust
POST protects open space on the Peninsula and in the South Bay for the benefit of all. As a private nonprofit land trust, POST has been responsible for saving more than 76,000 acres over the last 40 years. POST works with private landowners and public agencies to connect people and nature. Visit openspacetrust.org for more information.

About POST’s Farmland Futures Initiative
Through FFI, POST works with farmland owners and operators to secure farmland and natural resources, protecting the San Mateo Coast’s agricultural heritage and sustaining future generations. FFI’s goal is to reverse the trend of disappearing Coastside farmland through a combination of land acquisition, legal land protection and strategic investments in infrastructure. Visit openspacetrust.org/farmland for more information.

About Fifth Crow Farm
Fifth Crow Farm is a dynamic and diversified organic farm in Pescadero, CA. Founded in 2008 on a shoestring budget, a supportive local community, and ambitious dreams, it strives to bring eaters the highest quality, best tasting, and most nutritious food possible. The farm is situated in the Cloverdale Valley, 45 miles from San Francisco and 35 miles from Santa Cruz.

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 77,000 acres as permanently protected land in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties. Learn more

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