Focused on preserving traditional Jewish agricultural techniques and furthering the concept of local community, the folks at The Leichtag Foundation incubated Coastal Roots Farm in early January of 2016 after two years of planning and preparation with lots of help from Farmer D, aka Daron Joffe. Located in Encinitas, CA, Coastal Roots is an educational hub offering food, farming and spiritual wisdom for a more sustainable life.
The Leichtag Foundation, a Jewish nonprofit philanthropic organization established in the 1990s bought the 67 acre property that houses Coastal Roots Farm in 2014. Joffe was hired to create the plan and layout of the property. “The idea was for Coastal Roots Farm to be incubated by the Leichtag Foundation but then within five years to be a viable independent community farm that served Encinitas and Glenn County,” says Sona Desai, Associate Director of Coastal Roots.
Inspiration comes from many directions, even from tragedy. That was the case for Randy Bekendam, proprietor of Amy’s Farm, a 10-acre farm located south of Ontario, California. Bekendam runs Amy’s Farm with Amy herself, who is also his daughter.
Originally a cattle farm, Bekendam was moved to make a change and do something to bring the community together after a 3-year-old boy was killed by a drive-by shooter in nearby Pomona. Bekendam’s idea? Bring everyone together to heal their neighborhoods by growing food as a community.
“When the little boy was shot, I had never planted anything. I was not a farmer, so with this vision of growing food to build community, maybe have an impact on gang violence, and bring urban farming to the city, I realized I better become a farmer,” he says.
Slated for Saturday, May 20, 2017 the ‘Future of Food – Urban Farming Field Trip’ will visit a series of innovative urban farming ventures in Inland Southern California that have emerged to grow the local food marketplace, increase food access, educate local communities, advocate for food equity, and improve health and nutrition. The field trip hosted by Seedstock, a social venture that seeks to foster the development of sustainable local food systems, will also include lectures from experts in urban farming.
The tour is the third in a series of Seedstock ‘Future of Food’ field trips that was recently launched to facilitate the exploration of food system innovations that are generating economic and community capital.
Joe Swartz is Vice President at American Hydroponics (AmHydro), a longstanding indoor agriculture consultant and supplier. Based in California, the company services clients across the world. Joe has a lengthy career as a grower, and lives with his family on his East coast family farm. Ahead of his presentation at Indoor Ag-Con in May, we posed five questions to him on the hydroponic greenhouse industry and growing on Mars.
Seedstock CEO Robert Puro to Discuss “The Future on Your Plate” at Natural History Museum in Los Angeles, CAMarch 29, 2017 | seedstock
If you’re going to be in the Los Angeles area on April 7, 2017, please join Robert Puro of Seedstock in a discussion of “The Future on Your Plate” as part of the First Fridays series at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles.
Date: April 7, 2017
Location: Natural History Museum of Los Angeles – 900 Exposition Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90007
Discussion Topic: It’s unlikely we’d trade the allure of crunchy, salty, tasty food for a single, daily capsule. But with climate change and drought, what choices will we have? Can technology keep us fed, if farm-to-table becomes lab-to-table? If you know your sci-fi, you know the future of food is a little pill.