The Wild Farmlands Foundation
Dedicated to supporting and promoting the small urban and wild farmlands that grow fresh foods for local communities and regenerate the land for future generations. Small farms worldwide accommodate and preserve wildlife, plant life and the environment while they provide premium quality foods to local communities.
The 2012 USDA Census of Agriculture reported more than 25 million acres of farmland and 77,857 farms in the state of California. 63,000 of the 78,000 farms reported were small and mid-sized farms of less than 180 acres. In the 1997 Census, there were 71,000 such farms. This represents an average loss of more than 533 farms per year, a loss of about 8,000 farms over 15 years.
California is not alone in her small farm losses. Across the world, all advanced industrialized countries are losing small farms to increasing input costs & paperwork, adverse laws and regulations, government acquisition, industrial agriculture and urban sprawl. According to a global research study by GRAIN published in 2014, small farms still produce most of the world's food on less than 1/4 of the world's farmland. Small farms are more efficient, greener and more food secure for regional communities. Yet worldwide, governments and large enterprises in the global food system continue to acquire more farmland and industrialize the land.
To propagate and normalize natural, resilient agricultural principles and practices on small farm and ranch lands.
To educate and inform everyone, especially youth, about the value of small, independently owned farms and ranches to food systems and their importance to a healthy, regenerating earth.
To see small, independently owned farms and ranches thrive and increase in numbers worldwide.
Small Farms Are The Backbone Of The Local Foodshed
Experienced small-scale farmers are the most important contributors to the local foodshed. Not only do they grow most of the local food, they have practical hands-on experience and localized knowledge of the land, the weather and the foods that are grown and could be grown.
Small farm lands growing a diverse mix of products not only provides better food, they furnish unique ecological, economic and social benefits to the regions the serve. Small-scale farmers grow nutritious food, they keep the soil healthy, they monitor and manage the wild animal, plant and insect life, and they protect against erosion and non-native species invasions. Small-scale farmers also defend against human invasions in the form of government-owned or industrial farming operations and land development.
The goal of sustainable agriculture, including organic farming, is to eliminate synthetics, chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides and "sustaining" the existing condition of the land while providing better quality food. While this is good, it is not ambitious enough.
The applied principles of regenerative permaculture design, methods and practices effectively "regenerate" farm lands to the point that they have the stability and resiliency of natural systems. Regenerative agriculture couples the land's natural renewable resources and local ecosystems with the production of food.
The Small Farms Conservancy
Through the Small Farms Conservancy, the Wild Farmlands Foundation champions local foodshed development and ecosystem preservation through the strengthening of small urban and wild farm and ranch lands.