Fellows in the News

While “U-pick” berries, Livermore wine grapes and Brentwood sweet corn may be most people’s mental image of East Bay agriculture, Contra Costa and Alameda counties produce a wide variety of crops and livestock — and in a wide array of settings.

Even with the explosion of new subdivisions and strip malls in the early 2000s, and despite the drought after that, agriculture’s various forms remain key economic drivers in both counties after almost 200 years. Some sectors are on a distinct upswing, including cattle, wine grapes and urban farms, and overall agricultural income is trending upward.

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“I think it’s going to be an important niche, providing locally grown vegetables and fruits,” said Stephen Wheeler, a landscape architecture professor at UC Davis, who called such operations “community-supported agriculture.”

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