The proposed site of the organic farm is at Goethe Ranch in Rancho Cordova - a lush section of the American River Parkway usually closed to the public. Along with the natural surroundings visitors will see pigs, chickens, geese and goats.
"We have a menagerie here." Cory Fulton lives on the ranch with his wife Susan Oldland. They’re members of the group Organic Sacramento. Fulton says their goal is to get more people to eat locally grown food. "People are starting to understand that locally grown food is important. It’s important not only in energy terms but also in social terms. You’re employing people locally and you’re able to see where your food comes from. We had some chickens that we raised and we butchered them and we ate them and it was quite an experience to see where that food came from."
He says locally grown means less energy consumption. "The farther away food is generally the more energy goes into that food and energy is generally in the form of petroleum. So we do need to figure out new ways to do things and to do them with less energy."
The money raised at tomorrow’s event will go to Soil Born – a nonprofit group that grows organic crops on a few acres in Carmichael and sells the produce to local restaurants and co-op stores.
If enough money is raised, Soil Born will expand its operation to Goethe Ranch which Susan Oldland says isn’t currently being used to its full potential. "Well, right now it’s kind of a working ranch, we call it a play farm, but we’d really like to see a lot more bio-intensive agriculture going on out here, maybe do community supported agriculture with Rancho Cordova residents."
Sacramento County owns Goethe Ranch but is leasing it to Tod Kershaw a part-time farmer. Kershaw is a strong supporter of the work that Soil Born does in the community. "I told them they could come out here and start getting this land certified organic for their uses if they were able to take over this lease when mine expires in 2008 and they planted 3 acres of cover crops and asked them why only 3 acres, well that’s all they could afford for cover crop seeds. So we’re having a fundraiser for them."
Oldland says since the American River Parkway is zoned for recreational open space, the county could eventually decide to develop the area, but they’re hoping that doesn’t happen. "There is every potential for it to turn into a park or a golf course and we really don’t want to see that happen because this is such a valuable resource in and of itself. It’s a remnant bit of farm community that doesn’t exist anywhere else in Sacramento and that’s why we’d like to see Soil Born get out here and that’s why we want to help them."
The ranch is located next to Hagan Park in Rancho Cordova. Tomorrow’s event runs from 1 to 11 PM.