California builds first farm-to-table new home community


Urban farming is in the air and California is setting an example by creating the first American housing project of its kind with an urban farm built intentionally in the center of the community. The farm will be 7.4 acres and will include a teaching center for sustainable farming. Some 547 new homes have been built around the farm.

This is no straw bale hippy paradise, but fulfilling the dreams of mainstream urbanites who want the pleasures of big, single dwelling homes with access to fresh, local, organic produce.

The project is called The Cannery, and this Saturday 14 model homes will go on sale. Owned by NEW HOME (NYSE: NWHM) this event marks California’s first farm-to-table new home community. It is located in Davis, Calif.


“We have worked extremely hard over the past several years to get to this moment,” said Kevin Carson, Northern California President for NEW HOME. “The Cannery is unlike any other community in the western United States and it has truly been a rewarding experience to contribute to such an innovative concept.

Through a collaborative effort with the Center for Land-Based Learning of Winters, Calif., the Urban Farm will serve as a state-of-the-art example of sustainable urban farming and as an agri-classroom for students and beginning farmers.

“To see The Cannery today becoming a viable farm community is not only personally exciting for me, but also one of the most fulfilling accomplishments in my career,” said Craig McNamara, founder of the Center for Land-Based Learning. “The Cannery Urban Farm honors what I believe in most: Connecting eaters directly to food.”

Hear, hear. Let’s here of more projects like this multiplying across the US and the world.

::The Cannery

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28 thoughts on “California builds first farm-to-table new home community”

  1. Peter Javsicas says:

    As presented here, this makes no sense. Someone has to fill in the details of how such a small amount of growing space could even be a substantial supplement to the nutritional needs of 500+ households. It seems to me that if you really want to build a sustainable, “green” community, you have to work from the bottom up to make a total system of sustainability, not just a vegetable garden. Start with the numbers of people, then consider housing, energy use, the food and water cycle, economics, governance, etc. etc.

    1. Yes, we are doing such a project in Santa Clara.
      Our development deals with air, soil, native plant ecosystems, water, waste, food,(regenerative farming models) renewable energy, innovative transportation, education and human health and well being. Watch out for green dressing. Work with experts who understand local ecology restoration, eliminating infrastructure, strive to create sustainable regional food systems
      That produce a lot of nutritious organic food utilizing urban food technology like production aquaponics systems that use storm water and are on the roof tops of existing or new buildings!

  2. Hedy Parks says:

    I only see a plan for a pretty conventional suburban development on the pictures shown. What has this to do wirh farm-to-table? Oh, its the marketing spin: , lets greenwash it with a couple of solarpanels on the roof an package it in a trendy way. Voila!

    1. Aileen Kader says:

      Exactly. It’s more of an expensive PR stunt than anything. It’s also interesting that it’s being marketed primarily to folks in the SF Bay Area, where real estate prices are high as are fantasies about “farm” country life. Also, what coincidence that this housing development is within daily commuting distance to the greater SF Bay area! 😉

  3. Aileen Kader says:

    Yessiree! That would be right here in Davis, California. Single family detached homes START at a mere $710,000! As for farm-to-table, let this gal who grew up on a working farm tell you this so-called farm-to-table community is strictly a citified concept of farm. In other words, it’s a “farm” only to city folks who’ve never spent one night on a real working farm. Sorry for the disappointment, but that’s what happens when you hire slick PR folks pitching their wares to the basically uninformed.

  4. Monica Perez Nevarez says:

    Um, what’s green about this? The materials used to build the houses/communities? The lot size that allows for breathing space and food gardens? The outsize size of the homes? The energy self-sufficiency and water catchment/recycling system built in? The grey-water recycling design? The composting center? The waste management practices? The permaculture practices and design of green space? Oh wait! No, they don’t have any of these things! This is just another regular housing development with some space set aside for growing veggies. Sorry, that does not make it green or sustainable. And by framing your article the way you did, you’re part of the problem. Utter lack of context leading to slick misinformation.

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