Photo credit: Teddy Miller

Photo credit: Teddy Miller

Grazing at the Kitchen Table, our annual fundraiser and gathering, provides us with the very unique opportunity to bring together food system changemakers to celebrate our collective work. One such trailblazing organization, and Grazing Sponsor, in our community is the Peninsula Open Space Trust. At Kitchen Table Advisors, we value POST’s mission to protect precious farmland on the Peninsula. For many of our small farmers, POST’s work is vital to their ability to access land for growing beautiful food that feeds our region. We invite you to learn more about POST's vision for preserving Bay Area farmland from POST staff member Matt Dolkas.

The story of the Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) began in 1977, when a small group of citizens founded the organization to protect the open spaces, farms and parklands in and around Silicon Valley. Since that time, POST has protected over 75,000 acres of land in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties. Most of that land has been transferred to regional, state, county or national parks. Once protected, we then work to keep the natural values of the land intact for future generations of people and wildlife. Our success as an organization is a testament to the vision of our founders and the commitment of our community to protect the places we all know and love.

Photo credit: Teddy Miller

Photo credit: Teddy Miller

Since our founding, POST has been committed to preserving farmland on the Peninsula and keeping it in production. Like Kitchen Table Advisors, we too see the need for thriving farms that produce healthy food for our region. On the farmland we own, we offer farmers long-term agricultural leases and invest in agricultural improvement projects to ensure the operators have the tools needed for success.

We know that there is more to be done in this area. This is made clear by the alarming rate at which we are losing local farmland--most notably the 35% loss of farmland San Mateo County has experienced in the past 30 years. That’s why in spring of 2016 we launched our Farmland Futures Initiative, a $25 million campaign to triple the number of protected farmland acres and farms on the San Mateo coast in the next ten years.

Our hopes are that, with our Farmland Futures Initiative, we can work to protect the remaining prime soil acres on the San Mateo coast. We want to see this land, and the farmland that we’ve already protected, continue to nourish our communities. We aim to support the next generation of farmers growing robust and sustainable operations. They’re some of the best stewards of the land and empowering their operations is how we can build healthy soils, maintain wildlife habitat and sources of locally grown food. These are the ingredients that make the Peninsula such a special place to live.

Photo credit: Peninsula Open Space Trust

Photo credit: Peninsula Open Space Trust

POST’s vision of the land and the future of our communities is shared among a vibrant group of local changemakers, one among them being Kitchen Table Advisors. In the future, we see a robust regional food system stewarded by thoughtful, dedicated farmers who care about the health of the land for their livelihoods and for its role in the greater ecosystem. POST has a unique role in helping create this vision. We’re committed to the land, to the hard-working farmers who maintain it and to the future of this amazing place.

Grazing at the Kitchen Table takes place from 6.30pm to 9.30pm on Thursday, September 22, 2016 at Dogpatch WineWorks in San Francisco. Tickets go on sale in July. Follow #GrazeAndGive2016 for updates.