Imagination on fire…
Nothing like taking a walk with my dog, Roz, on a rainy Sunday morning to let my imagination get the best of me. Here we are checking out all the typical eye candy, and then found ourselves (ok mainly me) staring at the chain link fence enclosing an undeveloped piece of land between two homes.
While Roz didn’t seem particularly interested in the property, because she couldn’t get into it and neither could I – that would be “trespassing” – my mind started fantasizing about what I would do if I had this beautiful land. Strangely enough, I thought about starting a farm and growing food. Crazy right?
First of all take a look at the photo below and see where this lot is. This photo is taken at a higher elevation and so you can see better the view of the San Francisco Bay, Angel Island and Alcatraz (an island that used to house prisoners in its’ famous jail).
At street level, the acacia trees at the rear of the vacant lot, hide those million dollar views. And as we all know land and real estate is astronomical in San Francisco, like so many cities.
So would I really want to use that land to start an urban farm? Would you?
Those views. The million dollar land. Omg, sell the land and make money. Ka-ching!
But wait a minute. Reality check.
Maybe this vacant lot belongs to the owner of one of the adjacent properties… If they wanted to, they could get a tax break with state law, Assembly Bill 551, by turning their uninhabited land into an urban farm.
According to this NPR article I read about tax breaks in San Francisco “Property owners who are willing to turn uninhabited land into farms would get that land assessed at the going tax rate for the state’s irrigated farmland. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, that was about $12,500 per acre in 2013.”
National Tax Breaks for Urban Farms
Nationally, too, interest in urban farming is on the upswing, and many states have passed laws to promote city farms.
What do you think about the topic?
p.s. Here are some site’s I found of interest. Enjoy!
City Farmer – All can grow food at home after work in back yards, community gardens or on flat roofs. For the past 37 years, City Farmer has encouraged urban dwellers to pull up a patch of lawn and plant some vegetables, kitchen herbs and fruit. Our message is the same today as it was in 1978 and will be relevant far into the future.
Little City Gardens – It is a 3/4 acre urban farm in San Francisco, and it is an experiment in the economic viability of small-scale urban market-gardening. We have been working steadily for a year towards our aims: to craft a way for urban food production to sustain us economically, to build community through innovative, collaborative local food systems, and thus to help establish the path of ‘urban farmer’ as a career.
urbanfarming.org – The Urban Farming™ mission is to create an abundance of food for people in need by supporting and encouraging the establishment of gardens on unused land and space while increasing diversity, raising awareness for health and wellness, and inspiring and educating youth, adults and seniors to create an economically sustainable system to uplift communities around the globe.