Final Silicon Valley Farmer Dies, Leaves Land Open

His land is now our land -- and cannot be developed.

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    His land is now our land.

    Walter Cottle Lester died at 88 on Friday, and leaves a lasting legacy: 237 acres of what San Jose and the surrounding Santa Clara Valley used to look like.

    Farmland, open ranches and fertile orchards are what's left of Lester's property.

    A "vast farm" owned by his family since the 1800s will stay in the hands of the county, after Cottle spent most of his life saying "no" to offers to buy it from developers, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

    The farm in south San Jose, between Highway 85 and Branham Lane, will feature a public trail that opened over the weekend as well as parks and land to rent for farming.