Saturday, December 10, 2016

Edible Silicon Valley Magazine: A New Article by Robin Chapman on A New Way to Look at Green

A glimpse of the Taylor Street Farm in San Jose, California, where both greens and flowers are grown for sale in the middle of the city.

I've recently been doing some writing for a friend of mine who is the new publisher of Edible Silicon Valley, a magazine for the popular food/lifestyle/locavore culture that is a big part of life in the San Francisco Bay Area. In working on ideas for her magazine, we came across something called Urban Agriculture Incentive Zones, and she asked me to turn it into an article for her magazine.

San Francisco is, so far, the only city to have approved this plan that gives a tax break for farms in the city. I realized as I did my research that I actually knew a man in SF who owned a house on a large lot who had been able to take advantage of this at his San Francisco home. (His home is on a double lot and I always wondered why another guy was growing all those vegetables on his land!) San Jose, California, is now taking up the proposal too.

The Taylor Street Farm is an example of what might become part of an Urban Agriculture Incentive Zone in San Jose, California. As you can see, it sits right next to a freeway overpass.

Those of you who live in other parts of the U.S. and the world may find this a curious idea. But farming has grown so mechanized and so very successful in California, very little of it is done on small family farms anymore. And most California farms are far away from our urban centers. So this concecpt of using fallow land in or near an urban area to grow really tasty vegetables for local people is new and alien in modern California--though of course, the idea it is as old as the soil itself. Now in this new age--why not a tax break to reboot such a practical concept?

I have another piece coming up in the magazine in February called "Orchards 2.0" featuring such local foodie luminaries as Andy Mariani and Deborah Olson, which I think you will really enjoy. Meanwhile, here is the first piece I've contributed to Edible Silicon Valley magazine:

Click here for "Food For Thought from Edible Silicon Valley"

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