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Friday, April 8, 2011

Zoning can boost urban agriculture's renaissance

From SFGate,
A renaissance is happening right here in San Francisco. Next week, the Board of Supervisors will have the opportunity to approve an urban agriculture zoning proposal that would revise city planning code to welcome vegetable gardens in all areas of the city and provide the ability to sell produce from those gardens. The spirit and intent of the ordinance represent a giant leap forward for urban farmers who yearn for a simpler, more hybrid urban lifestyle that combines traditional city living with more agrarian sustainable food practices.

Most important, the new ordinance will legitimize the production and sale of locally grown produce and end the permitting issues that have long plagued small-scale urban farmers here in San Francisco and throughout the Bay Area.

Urban agriculture and urban farms are about much more than planting a few tomato plants in a backyard. These enterprises create jobs and build life skills for people in need; they enhance the urban environment and make it safer; they provide food security and foster community; they give San Franciscans who participate a sense of ownership and pride in their city.

All across San Francisco, spontaneous vegetable and fruit gardens and micro-farms provide the evidence that the urban farming model works. The Quesada Gardens Initiative, born in 2002 when Annette Young Smith and the late Karl Paige began planting flowers and vegetables around a blighted Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood, flourishes today with the support of the surrounding community.
Read more at SFGate

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