Small urban farms sprout in West Sacramento

Vacant city lots become incubators for career growth, local produce

A new farming project aims to turn idle inner-city land into agricultural pathways.

The Winters-based Center for Land-Based Learning, in partnership with the city of West Sacramento and area businesses, is turning vacant city lots into urban farm incubators, providing access to three things new farmers need most—land, capital and infrastructure.

Ground broke May 15 with a ceremonial planting on the newest farm, located behind the Yolo Education Center. Graduates from CLBL's California Farm Academy program will operate and lease the land at a low rate.

Raley's has promised to purchase 25 percent of the harvest for their local food-bank program, Food For Families. Almost one-fifth of Sacramento and Yolo county residents are food insecure, according to state public health data.

The Raley's money helps support the harvest distribution in other markets, including a new Farm Stand site at a vacant lot at 5th and F streets in West Sac, opening in June. Christine McMorrow, CLBL's director of development, says more than seven acres of these farms should be up and running by the end of the year.