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San Francisco to support urban agriculture with new tax break zone

Urban agriculture

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(NaturalNews) Everywhere in the United States, home owners who grow vegetables or fruit for their own families are hassled by local authorities and forced to destroy their gardens. But the trend in California is toward legalizing urban homegrown food supplies, even for commerce.

The city of San Francisco is on the forefront of legalizing food self-reliance. They have created a contractual system that allows home or land owners to grow their own food and sell whatever they can to others using a tax break system.

The original system was put into SF city law late July 2014 to grant a tax break for SF property owners who dedicate their land for agricultural use for five or more years.

Since then, new amendments have been proposed to ensure that the tax break doesn't exceed $25,000 per parcel of land limited to five acres. Growers would have a contract with the city to allow inspections, and any violations could result in refunding the amounts granted as tax breaks back to the city. [1]

Soon, San Francisco's lovely landscaping will have the pragmatic function of feeding people wholesome local veggies and fruits. A major force in this local movement has been SPUR (formerly the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association), a non-profit NGO that promotes progressive urban planning. [2]

Two major California pioneers for food self-reliance

In 2013, Mike Adams awarded South Central LA guerrilla gardener Ron Finley the first "Natural American Heroes Award." Finley was at first victimized by the city for his front yard curbside "food forest."

He ignored the citation, but it became an arrest warrant "for planting food." He was no push-over though. He enlisted the help of an LA reporter and used a petition signed by hundreds to overcome the city's "legal" harassment.

Finley explained: "South Central LA, home of the drive-thru, and the drive-by [shootings]. Funny thing is, the drive-thrus are killin' more people than the drive-bys. People are dying from curable diseases in South Central LA."

In his article, Health Ranger Mike Adams also included a dynamic TEDtalk by Finley where he asserts, "Gardening is the most therapeutic and defiant act you can do. Especially in the inner city." Finley continued, "It's my gospel. I'm tellin' people grow your own food. Growing your own food is like printing money."

So Finley's mission extended from his front yard curb area to include South Central LA residents, teaching them how to grow their own food by using small plots along public streets and abandoned lots to grow more for use within a communal setting.

The four-member Dervaes family in Pasadena, California, has created probably the most productive food yield per acre possible in their "Path to Freedom Garden."

Their home is on one-fifth of an acre, with the dwelling occupying half of the land. So the other half of that one-fifth acre feeds the whole family of four with enough left over to sell to local restaurants specializing in fine dining or organic food.

That means they manage this on 1/10 of an acre with a variety 300 types of veggies, fruits, medicinal herbs and flowers, using raised beds and vertical planting techniques.

It's estimated that it takes approximately 1.2 acres of conventional farmland to feed one person in the USA for a year, and the Dervaes family of four has managed each year on 1/50 of that acreage. To be sure, the landscaping is very creative.

Jules Dervaes was an experienced landscaper and gardener who was motivated to this current extreme in order to protect him and his family from GMOs. He shares some good tips here:

You can view some images of his "Pasadena Paradise" here: MotherEarthLiving.com.

Guess what: Both Cuba [3] and Russia [4] rely heavily on community farming for a large percentage of their food. It's easier to say "nyet" to GMOs when food production isn't centralized among a handful of greedy, power-hungry, sociopath Big Ag cartels that control the federal government.

Sources for this article include:

[1] http://www.spur.org

[2] http://www.spur.org

[3] http://www.bullfrogfilms.com

[4] http://naturalhomes.org




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