Top 100 cultural trends shaping the West

The ideas, people, places, and things that are making life out here better right now

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Urban farming: the game changers
Photo by David Fenton

#35: Game changers

Innovators from guerrilla gardeners to backyard fruit swappers are forcing creaky city code to adapt to the urban farming revolution. Take the case of San Francisco gardeners Brooke Budner and Caitlyn Galloway. Their 3/4-acre plot, Little City Gardens, was legal, but zoning prohibited them from selling a single bean sprout unless they bought a $3,000 permit. Seeing this as a bureaucratic killer for urban farms, the women challenged the rules. “We didn’t expect to get the planning department’s ear,” says Budner. But with the mayor making access to healthier food a priority, the timing was right, and the policy is expected to go before the Planning Commission shortly.

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