West Sacramento gets grant to help new urban farm program

Farmer Sara Bernal at the 5th & C urban farm soon after the new soil was trucked in. Neighbors include older homes, newer urban townhouses, a liquor store and the I Street Bridge. (News-Ledger photo/May, 2014)

Farmer Sara Bernal at the 5th & C urban farm soon after the new soil was trucked in. Neighbors include older homes, newer urban townhouses, a liquor store and the I Street Bridge. (News-Ledger photo/May, 2014)

NEWS-LEDGER — JAN 28, 2015 —

The City of West Sacramento has received $40,000 in grants and in-kind donations for its urban farm program, courtesy of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Scotts Miracle-Gro Company. The city was one of four national winners in a program to support gardening and green spaces.

West Sacramento, partnering with the Center for Land-Based Learning, opened up an urban farm last year at the corner of 5th and C streets in the “Washington” neighborhood, near the I Street Bridge.

The new grant will help the partners improve that farm – including creation of a new “point of sale” farm stand – and pursue other urban farms in the city.

The farm is meant to help new young farmers launch their career, bring fresh produce to an underserved area, and create a positive use on a former vacant lot. City officials believe that eventually, courtesy of market forces, the temporary farm at 5th and C will give way to new development as the neighborhood is revitalized.

“The level of excitement and community support for the urban farming initiative has been extraordinary,” said Mayor Christopher Cabaldon in a city press release. “West Sacramento residents recognize urban farms as an asset and are eager to have more sites like our flagship 5th and C farm in our town. . . We will use the funds to improve livability and food access while increasing the visibility of West Sacramento as a regional food hub.”

Other grant-winners were Dallas, Texas; Rochester, New York; and Hartford, Connecticut. The winners were chosen by a panel of former mayors and national gardening experts.

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