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Farmland LP, a sustainable agriculture investment fund, has acquired an additional 450 acres of Brentwood farmland, which brings its total Brentwood acreage to more than 1,560 acres and increases its total farmland holdings in the San Francisco Bay Area's 50-mile foodshed to 5,800 acres. (Courtesy of Jason Bradford/Vital Farmland Partners LLC)

After recently acquiring 450 more acres of farmland in Brentwood, a San Francisco-based sustainable agriculture investment fund plans to convert more than 1,560 acres into organic, sustainable farmland.

Over the next few years, Farmland LP will house livestock on its property off Orwood Road and allow the pastured cattle to enhance soil fertility. Farmland LP co-founder Craig Wichner said that organic crops at Brentwood Creek Farm will follow, including corn, tomatoes, asparagus and alfalfa.

"We will follow in the Brentwood tradition of producing high-quality produce," he said.

Because the demand for locally grown and sustainable food continues to rise, Wichner noted that Brentwood Creek Farm's expansion will provide valuable farmland for local, sustainable farmers to share crops.

"Applying our sustainable-agriculture management practices to these additional acres will not only increase the supply of healthy food but help clean the water and air, sequester carbon in the soil and create more jobs for the next generation of farmers and livestock managers," Wichner said.

Bill Niman's BN Ranch is raising hundreds of premium livestock at Brentwood Creek Farm, where they graze and fertilize the soil. Because Niman raises only grass-fed livestock, he said they rely on the irrigated land that provides grass in the summer and extends the slaughter period into the winter.


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"It is sensible. It is not energy-draining. It doesn't deplete soil or damage soil," he said. "They want to build relationships with organic farmers for people to farm. We are going to provide the animal component for that long-term, sensible land use that they are advocating. We are protecting the integrity of the land."

Niman also utilizes acreage around nearby Los Vaqueros Reservoir, and the cattle can easily rotate from Brentwood Creek Farm to Los Vaqueros. According to Niman, conventional fertilizers leave many toxins in soil, and this method will replenish the nutrients in the soil and keep it healthy.

"Every chemical known to man has been on that land. They are remediating that," he said.

Wichner noted that BN Ranch sells beef statewide in premium markets and is known for producing high-quality meat in an ethical and humane manner. Overall, converting the land in this way takes expertise, capital and patience, he added.

"I hope that what we are doing is catalytic," Wichner said. "We expect to show that sustainable ag is more beneficial than chemical agriculture."

Reach Paula King at 925-779-7174 or pking@bayareanewsgroup.com.

AddiTionAL details
For more information on Farmland LP and Brentwood Creek Farm, visit www.FarmlandLP.com.