West Sacramento Turning Motels into Urban Farmland

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Every farmer doesn’t have a warm and fuzzy relationship with his mowers, but West Sacramento’s Dan Gannon prides himself on it.

Thanks to some of the work done by his goats, Sweets and Rainbow, he uses no big machinery on his rented half-acre just a few blocks from some new sub-divisions.

Farming was Gannon’s plan since college, and so was farming differently.

West Sacramento is already changing up access to fresh food with mobile stands.

Gannon was eager to plant a more radical concept when he sat down with Mayor Chris Cabaldon.

“We were brainstorming and came up with this idea. We got these under-utilized motels and that this would be a good space to have some high density housing,” said Gannon.

So what does that kind of housing have to do with a life working the land?  A lot, according to Gannon.

“If you want to have urban food production, the market rates for rental housing is pretty high and difficult for a brand new farmer who’s already taking all the risks of producing a crop that first year,” said Gannon.

And that’s not Gannon’s only risk-reversal idea for newbies who may take up the urban growth game.

“For the most part, I don’t plant it unless I know I have it sold,” said Gannon.

That’s right. Gannon’s little farm supports his household and supplies a year’s worth of produce to 20 families and three restaurants.

All parties pay for their goods up front.

Gannon says that way, the community shares in the gamble of growing food – not just the farmer.

To get this idea to take root, Gannon’s launching ‘A New Farm‘ in April.

It will be a networking site for new farmers and an online marketplace to sell their wares.

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