At a busy street corner in West Sacramento, Sara Bernal stretches out a long tube of irrigation piping in a vacant lot.
“I’m just going to walk this out the length of the field,” she says.
Bernal is with the Center for Land Based Learning and a beginning farmer. The almost one-acre field is the site of a former gas station, but soon Bernal says she plans to grow all sorts of produce.
“We’re going to be doing rainbow carrots, white satin carrots, all sorts of heirloom Italian beans, melons, cucumbers, summer squash eggplants, five types of peppers,” says Bernal.
The list goes on. Soil tests show the site is not contaminated, but she’s covered it with about a foot of organic topsoil. She says the goal of the project is to sell what the land produces at Farmers Markets and to restaurants.
“I just wanted to be closer to the markets that I’m selling to," says Bernal. "Also, I think it’s really important for people who live in cities to see food growing in a way that is an actual production model.”
West Sacramento is leasing the plot to her for one dollar for five years. Gabriel Gorritz lives nearby. He says the urban farms are a great idea and thinks more people should get involved in growing their own food.
“More people need to do it," says Gorritz. "We have land we have beautiful climate we’re in California and everyone runs to the grocery store and buys products from Mexico.”
West Sacramento and the Center for Land Based Learning hope to create more urban farms within the next few months. The city says the project aligns with its goal to become a food industry hub.