Preserve productive agricultural land.
The 12,000 acres of prime farmland in the Brentwood region of East Contra Costa County is one of the largest, most productive farming regions remaining in the Bay Area. However, the region has experienced tremendous development pressure over the past twenty years as the City of Brentwood grew from 7,500 people to 56,000 people. BALT protects farmland from development by acquiring agricultural conservation easements from farmers. While farmers continue to own and farm their land, the conservation easement prohibits future subdivision or development of the property. BALT holds conservation easements on seven Brentwood farms, and anticipates completing several additional easements this year.
Strengthen agricultural enterprise zoning, permitting and policies.
BALT works closely with local governments to develop agricultural enterprise zoning, permitting and policies so that Contra Costa farmers can develop agricultural tourism, value-added processing and expanded roadside stands. Together with the County Board of Supervisors, BALT is developing a local food purchasing policy for County institutional purchasers and exploring innovative local food distribution systems that connect Brentwood farmers and their urban neighbors.
Promote local farming.
Working with local farmers, BALT has created the Brentwood and Contra Costa "Buy Fresh Buy Local" logos so that Bay Area consumers can identify locally produced fruits, vegetables, wines and olive oils when they purchase food and eat in restaurants.
Create food connections between farmers and urban neighbors.
With the rich, productive farmland in the east and dense urban populations in the west, the East Bay has the remarkable potential to build a local food system. BALT works with farmers, local governments and community organizations to bring fresh, local food directly from the farms to the cities. Since 2009, the Richmond Farm 2 Table CSA has brought Brentwood produce directly to Richmond, increasing food security for urban residents and creating new markets for Brentwood farmers.Help make a difference, support our work.