San Diego Food Systems Alliance: Bringing Urban Ag to the City by the Sea

Blog Exclusives from Urban Ag News

The urban agriculture movement is alive and well in San Diego. With a nod to the San Diego Food Systems Alliance (SDFSA, Executive Director, Elly Brown, and with her diligent work over the past year and a half, it’s clear that urban ag is carving out a spot in the city by the sea.


I was able to personally meet Elly and other proponents of the movement at a recent Ag Fair in downtown San Diego a few weeks ago. Despite the hot temperatures (90+ degrees…rare for San Diego) there was a fine turnout on the grounds of the Makers Quarter Silo (Makers Quarter™ is a gathering place of San Diego’s Artists and Innovators, and the heart of the city’s Maker Movement). Elly, with a background in non-profits and fundraising stated this was the SDSFSA’s first event and fair. Together with members of the SLO movement (sustainable, local and organic) along with event planner, Alchemy ( the goal is to create an urban agriculture incentive zone.

San Diego Food System Alliance Stacked Mobile Learning Farm
This means there will be tax incentives for San Diego’s aspiring farmers who seek food sovereignty. Within the SDFSA, there are five working groups representing not only urban ag but also sustainable fishing initiatives seeking to reduce market barriers and incentivizing new and aspiring fisherman and farmers. The event brought industry luminaries such as A.G. Kawamura, the former California Secretary of Agriculture, to speak on the benefits of urban ag. The author of this blog has a personal connection with A.G. as he sits on the board of Urban Produce, my first gig in indoor vertical farming.

Food System Alliance

Kirsten Kessler, event coordinator of Alchemy Events, along with her partner, Ron Troyano, remain passionate about bringing urban agriculture to San Diego. Together with Elly Brown and the good people of San Diego, I have no doubt that urban agriculture will find its true place in the urban environment where planes kiss large buildings upon landing at San Diego International Airport and windsurfers navigate their way through Mission Bay.

Please support the initiatives and people that are working so diligently to bring change to San Diego.