Can Ramírez Farm be Saved?

It looks bucolic, but stand at this location in Union City and turn around 180 degrees to see the built environment that will soon swallow up this vista. Is that change inevitable, or can we find a different equation?


We recently found ourselves tossed back 10 years in time while driving among the apartment complexes and business parks near the Fremont BART station. Suddenly there was this soothing green growing island: lush rows of corn, thriving pepper, tomatillo, and tomato plants, and thick beds of sunflowers and cosmos. Was this heaven? Had we been there before? Sure enough, it was Ramírez Farm, scene of an engaging story on urban farming and Mexican corn that we covered in 2010. The farm is still there, but it may not be for long. CalTrans, which owns the property, is selling it to developers.

Public agencies need to hear from citizens that urban farms matter. Urban farms help feed local people and contribute to the local economy. They provide places to learn about food, science, economics, and more, and they contribute to local mitigation of climate change. If you want to express your thoughts on Ramirez Farm, send comments to the Union City Planning Department, and if you find yourself near a soothing green growing island in your own neighborhood, pay it a visit and see how you can get involved. Start by visiting Edible East Bay‘s index of urban agriculture coverage here.