In 2011 along with the launch of the Pescadero Grown Farmer’s Markets Puente sought out ways to enhance our agriculture on the South Coast. Prior to the South Coast Foodshed mapping project there had never been a comprehensive map of all the farms, ranches and distribution points on the South Coast. The brochure and map, available at the Pescadero Grown Farmer’s Markets, maps out 120 farms and ranches on the South Coast and highlights the ones that have ways for South Coast residents to access their food through on-farm sales, community supported agriculture or participation in the Pescadero Grown Farmer’s Markets!
Challenges and Opportunities
The rich and diverse agricultural heritage of the South Coast, with the stunning landscape of rolling hills leading to the cliffs of the Pacific Ocean, provides prime setting for farms and ranches. Despite the recent influx of new and young farmers, there has been a steady decline in agriculture on the South Coast for the past 20 years because of the enormous challenges presented by the high economic value of land, the lack of access to public and private lands, and the difficulty in finding affordable housing for start-up farmers and farms workers.
The growing public awareness that healthy food leads to healthy families and communities suggests that there’s an opportunity for us all to collaborate on solutions to creating easier land access; affordable low-income housing; and equity building. Together we can create a healthy foodshed that addresses both the growing and distributing of food resource, as well as the issues of social equity, healthy watersheds, community building and economic growth and security for individuals and businesses.
Foodshed: Similar to the concept of a watershed, a foodshed is an area where food is grown and consumed. Recently, the term has been revived as a way of looking at and thinking about local, sustainable food systems and food security.
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA): A CSA consists of a community of individuals who pledge support to a specific farming operation where the growers and consumers share both the risks and benefits of food production. The farm distributes boxes of produce and other foods (such as eggs and meat) to its CSA members in exchange for their support.
Healthy Food Resource: This is food that is locally grown, fresh and healthy, and is available to nearby population centers by foot or bike. Distribution may include on-farm pick up, CSA’s, farmer’s markets and community gardens.
Ways to get involved:
- Start a backyard garden
- Buy local
- Support your healthy food resources
- Donate your overflow food from your garden or orchard to Puente or other non-profits
- Donate to the South Coast Foodshed Project by visiting: https://npo.networkforgood.org/Donate/Donate.aspx?npoSubscriptionId=1000681
Joint copyright 2011 by Puente de la Costa Sur and Designs by Doniga
Map and brochure design by Doniga Markegard
Graphic design by Glen So
Cover photo by Erik Markegard
Map produced by San Mateo RCD