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Sacramento County OKs Use Of Lots For Urban Gardens

Paul Stein / Flickr

Paul Stein / Flickr

The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors has unanimously voted to pass a law allowing residents to grow food for sale and raise animals — like goat and sheep — for 4-H clubs.

Supporters say the step will strengthen the region's local food system.

Katie Valenzuela Garcia, coordinator of the Sacramento Urban Agriculture Coalition, expects the county law to transform Sacramento's landscape in visible — and edible — ways.

"People are going to start seeing more farm stands in their neighborhoods, near their schools, near where they work and live that they can purchase really fresh, affordable, local produce from," Garcia says.

Shawn Harrison is the founder of Sacramento's Soil Born Farms. It's a non-profit that offers educational programs and apprenticeships for farmers.

Harrison hailed the county's move as a sign that Sacramento is embracing its roots in agriculture. Growing food is linked with rural areas; he sees this law strengthening the urban piece of the puzzle.

"If we can make a robust urban environment that really interprets and engages around food and agriculture, it creates a much more comprehensive and a real and connected vision and statement about who we are and what regions like ours can do to feed ourselves and promote long-term health and well-being," Harrison says.

The permit fee has been waived for the first year. The move by the county follows a similar urban agriculture ordinance passed by the city of Sacramento in 2015.

For people eager to get planting and selling fruits and vegetables from their own stands — the ordinance takes effect in 30 days.

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