A family that owns a small farm right in the middle of Google's campus in Silicon Valley is refusing to sell the land despite being reportedly offered millions of dollars for it.
The Martinelli family owns a piece of land measuring less than an acre that is home to wooden farm buildings, battered pickups, a ruined barn and a crumbling ice house, as well as fig, tangerine, avocado and pepper trees.
The land, located at 1851 Charleston Road, is surrounded on all sides by Google's 25-acre campus in Mountain View, California. The family is refusing to sell, even though local real estate agents estimate that it is worth between $5-$7m (£4-6m), according to the Guardian.
Victoria Martinelli, 79, one of the family's elders, still remembers learning to drive a tractor and working in the vegetable rows in the late 1940s. The farm used to harvest fruit and vegetables and send the produce to produce markets in San Francisco.
"Right now we're living," said Victoria's nephew Leonard Martinelli, 49. "We don't need the money. Right now it's not for sale." His sister, Sandra Martinelli Bilyeu, 43, added: "If we keep it, we keep our history."
Mountain View, a city located in Santa Clara County, at the southern end of the San Francisco Peninsula, was originally a Mexican land grant that eventually became two cities – Mountain View and Sunnyvale – whose economies depended solely on agriculture.
Due to the development of the aerospace and electronics industries in the area from the 1950s, the population grew significantly, and today high technology is the basis of the local economy.
Ironically, none of the Martinelli family actually resides on the farm anymore, instead renting it out to a handful of renters, including an artist and carpenter, who don't seem to mind that some of the farm buildings are not in good condition.
The Martinellis argue that their farm is one of the last remaining pieces of land harking back to the old days, but the local government disagrees.
"I don't think anyone sees any historic significance [in the property]. Eventually all these properties are going to go. There's nothing unique about them," said Mountain View city councilman Leonard Siegel, who claims to be a professional environmental advocate. "It's not as if the Golden Era of Mountain View was when it was agricultural."