Unaffordable land stunts new generation of small farmers in California (by Julia Scott – Mercury News)
This story was produced in partnership with KALW 91.7 FM. Tune in to KALW’s Crosscurrents at 5 p.m. Monday to hear from California’s emerging farmers, or listen to the podcast at http://kalwnews.org.
EXCERPT: In 2005, would-be farmers Nancy Vail and Jered Lawson spotted an old barn along Highway 1 that would make a good produce stand, along with 13 acres of prime coastal property, available for $1.25 million. They jumped at the chance to buy it. “We were incredibly lucky,” Vail said. “It’s a lot of money, but it’s actually pretty good.”
Indeed, Vail and Lawson, who operate Pie Ranch, a nonprofit educational farm on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, were lucky to find land to farm. They are part of a new and growing generation of farmers who aspire to deliver locally grown organic food to their communities but can’t usually afford the land to do so…