Agriculture is the 5th largest industry in San Diego County. San Diego is the #1 producer of nursery crops in California. The #1 producer of Avocados. #2 in farms with Women as principal operator. We are the 19th largest farm economy out of more than 3,000 counties. And we have more small farms (less than 10 acres) than any other county in the US.
5,732 farms within San Diego County are working to turn a profit. Full-time, part-time, large, small, conventional, organic, urban, rural, established or just starting out. San Diego boasts top crops in nursery, flowers, avocados, tomatoes, citrus, chickens & eggs, shrooms, succulents, strawberries, coffee & cannabis. Most of San Diego County farms are small 1-9 acre proprieties, and that awards San Diego County more certified organic growers than any other county in the nation. SD has more than 400 certified organic farms!
As growers, we are the first in a potentially long chain of hands that produce & handle the foods we love. But while being the first-in-line has advantages at the ground level, growers don’t get always get to reap the rewards at the retail level. Small farms especially need a direct-to-customer base to earn a fairer price on their produce. Buying direct from a small organic farm not only keeps them in business, it always tastes better too. San Diego County is home to 44 certified Farmers Markets throughout the county where food enthusiasts get to meet farmers & buy direct.
Besides growing, farmers have to comply with many ever-changing laws & fees relating to labor, water use, soil health, conservation, regeneration, and organic documentation. All of which can be a lot to manage when you have a farm to run. Big thanks to Farmer Justin & our talented, caring staff for making us one of the most pristine & compliant operations out there. And we thank You for supporting our small farm.
When District 2 City Councilman Chris Rodriguez was running for office, he personally emailed me this message:
I will be humbly running for District 2 City Council. Politics is not my forte but I’m all about fighting for Our City and area w so much potential impact if the wrong individual gets elected.
We did not vote for Chris Rodriguez. And last night he proved to everyone why he was always the wrong individual by opening the motion to Vote Yes on re-zoning agricultural land for new housing developments. This motion is NOT fighting for our city or our area. It’s the opposite. His vote dramatically changes the environment while lining his pockets with greedy money.
Chris, the newest member of City Council, has openly pushed for Council Member pay-raises & has documented receipts receiving money from Integral, the developer in the case. Direct influence should have recused him from the vote. This is yet another example of money directly influencing policy; another case of an Elected Official voting for his own personal interests at a huge cost to his constituents & in opposition to their wishes. When a governing body is bought & paid for by money giants, poor communities don’t stand a chance. Being an elected official is a public service. Chris does not serve his public. It’s also worth mentioning that he is a real estate CEO. I can’t speak for Jack Feller or Mayor Weiss who also voted in-favor of the project, but I can say this is a sad day for Oceanside residents to learn that our City Council is still corrupted.
When the last tree is cut down, the last fish eaten, and the last stream poisoned, you will realize that you cannot eat money.
To the residents, neighbors & concerned citizens who voiced their opposition, thank you for taking the time to address the city. The opposition definitely outnumbered those in-favor, but it wasn’t enough to influence the vote. North River Farms was entitled at 11:15pm last night after a lengthy hearing which included Councilman Chris Rodriguez yelling at his constituents, ending in a 3-2 vote in favor of the new development, a project that was unanimously denied by the City Planning Commission in June.
This is a sad day for Oceanside.
If I could look for the good in all of this, it’s that corruption has shown its face & reminded us that voter engagement does matter.
To all it may concern in Oceanside, CA:
I didn’t grow up here. But I’ve resided here for 15 years, long enough to see city improvements & imperfections. I’ve lived here long enough to fall in love with its agriculture, its ideal climate & growing conditions, & believe in its value enough to start my own business here.
Green Oceanside’s Green Waste Recycling & Composting Program is awesome. Oceanside now even has a food waste kitchen, giving food one more chance to thrive before it’s composted. And Oceanside is undergoing a major effort to pipe reclaimed/recycled water out to its farmers by 2024. These are generous efforts for a much-needed food-secure, water-secure, job-secure, renewable future! Thank you, Oceanside.
The politics of progress. For years, developers have pushed the city to build unwanted, unsustainable shopping plazas & housing developments. Take the Mission San Luis Rey Historic District for example. If you’ve ever been welcomed by the sign at the corner of Mission Avenue & El Camino, you won’t be welcomed by the historic Mission itself, but instead by a messy four-way intersection of strip malls blocking any possible view of the 200-year-old site. Oceanside seems to have sold its fertile & beautiful land, along with its history, long ago.
We work closely with the City & our neighbors to encourage City Council, City Staff, & the Planning Commission to slow down and carefully think about the paradise Oceanside is continually paving over. We hope the City & its citizens can continue to work together as a community to preserve our precious remaining agricultural region.
Food production is a privilege & should be seen as a great long-term asset to Oceanside. Retiring Farmers may want to sell their lands to developers for a higher return, but young farmers know that new farming innovation promotes jobs, soil regeneration & climate mitigation, natural diversity & wildlife, plus amazing tourism potential.
On Nov 6, City Council will be voting on a new North River Farms development, which is NOT A FARM, but another premature housing development threatening Oceanside’s agricultural land. The project conflicts with laws & logic & will have negative effects on traffic & environment.
Will the City have an awakening before it’s too late? Will tomorrow’s Oceansiders have a life in, on, or near a farm, or will tomorrow’s Oceansiders be forced to do their growing & shopping in other cities? That decision is up to the city.
Please write & call City Council urging them to vote NO on the North River Farms Project because “more time is needed to update the general city plan.” (Mayor’s Office: 760-435-3066; or send your concerns to: Council@oceansideca.org)
Or vote louder & attend the November 6, 2019 council meeting!
Mraz Family Farms
Fruits of wisdom from our family tree.