“In America, the Promised Land has always been over the next ridge, never under our feet.”
– Scott Russell Sanders
We had developed a deep love and gratitude for “this land under our feet.” Our 75-acre farm provides a home, our family’s sustenance, and employs some fifty persons growing good food year-round for people in this community and beyond. It is with great hope that we have passed on all the farming methods we painstakingy developed during 30+ years to the folks at Food Commons Fresno as they assumed the lease on the land we loving farmed here in Madera since 1996. This was accomplished with the aid of Jim Maxwell at AgriLand, acting as a Land Bank.
Our San Joaquin Valley, Earth’s most productive agricultural region, will pave over another 500,000 acres of its farmland for suburban homes and parking lots by 2050, if present trends continue.
“Today, family farms are disappearing by the thousands as they face increasing pressure from urbanization, the industrialization of agriculture and from the treadmill of chemical use. As the public becomes more concerned about the negative effects of toxic agriculture on our environment and our health, the demand for sustainably produced, safe food is growing rapidly. Organic agriculture offers smallholder farmers a refuge and consumers an economically and environmentally healthy alternative.”
– Organic Farming Research Foundation handout
“In places like the San Joaquin Valley, where most cities are surrounded by farmland, it is critical that new development occur on vacant or repurposed land within existing cities, and, that development use it as efficiently as possible, consuming less land for every new resident, job and dollar of economic growth.
The breakneck pace of California’s growth may create an urban “promised land” for some, but it destroys farms like ours. Join hands with our farming neighbors to protect the future bounty of the agricultural jewels that God has entrusted to our stewardship.”
– American Farmland Trust
“The reconstruction of a people and of a life in the United States depends, in large part, on the willingness of people, neighborhood by neighborhood, county by county, deciding to stick it out and make it work where they are, rather than flee.”
– Gary Synder