Helena and Matthew Sylvester would love to plant fruit trees and blackberries on their Bay Area organic farm, but they’re holding off because they don’t own the land. Like a growing number of young farmers across the country, they lease it year-to-year. That means the Sylvesters must weigh every improvement carefully. “Last year, a week before my husband and I were going to get married, our landlord told us they were going to pave over 2 acres of our farm,” says Helena, 29. Although she and her husband were able to block those plans, the experience “makes me hesitant to think we could financially invest, because that could happen again,” she says.
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