The Stars and Stripes flies above the rooflines of Pescadero, Calif. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)
Growing up in San Jose California, I have seen a lot of change over the years. I remember my parents taking my siblings and me on day trips to places like Santa Cruz, Half Moon Bay, San Francisco and Pescadero. My dad had an aunt who lived in Pescadero on a small farm with horses, pigs, chickens and a couple of cows. I loved going there because we got to ride the horses. There was nothing like playing hard and eating the delicious food. Pescadero was like stepping back in time, back then.
Pescadero has remained a little part of nostalgia for years. Say it’s not so. Pescadero one of California’s last frontiers has been invaded by Silicon Valley Billionaires. Locals say there are some problems to the invasion of tourists and outsiders, some of the Moneybags are committed to maintaining the agricultural character of the place. Where goat cheese-makers, artisans, intellectuals, farmers, ranchers and other rugged individualists exist in rustic harmony. Are they really?
I don’t think so. Tom Steyer retired hedge fund manager and ecological activist and his wife, entrepreneur and contributor Kat Taylor, own a 1,800-acre grass-fed cattle ranch in Pescadero. They consider it a learning laboratory for sustainable animal agriculture. Steyer said, “It is kind of magic, I think, the idea that there would be that much open space, that much wild space, that close to Silicon Valley and San Francisco,”. “It’s pretty incredible. So we feel a lot of responsibility to make it available to as many people as possible.”
Okay, that’s all good but what about the middle class and the farmers in the area. Are they going to be push out to make way for other CEO’s? One of Google’s top executives is said to have a 1,500-acre ranch in Pescadero, where he has partnered with Pie Ranch. Where he sources food for the Mountain View campus from the sustainable Pescadero farm. What about Signe Ostby, the wife of Intuit co-founder Scott Cook? She breeds horses on her 2,220 acre ranch. Why didn’t she respond to the interview requests? What does she have to hide? Venture capitalist John Doerr owns nearly 1,400 acres. This is another community where gentrification will push out non wealthy people and families. The end of an era. In 5 years you probably won’t recognize the town of Pescadero and the rents will be out of this world.