Saturday, June 28, 2008

A Non-Profit I Am Very Excited About

In a time we are all concerned about the environment, obesity, what is in our food and where it comes from, and the high cost of food and gas I have learned about a nonprofit in our area that I think is wonderful. They are called Soil Born Farms and are organic producers. Their goal is to bring fresh affordable produce to locals. They are growing the produce locally on 25 acres they have leased from Sacramento County. Right here in my own backyard so to speak. They have also been in discussions with the regions largest developer, Angelo K. Tsakopoulis who took the nonprofit on a tour of potential farm sites on his properities. When you think of it, the cost of fuel alone justifies putting more farms in locally.

They have lines at their produce stands which includes even some of the top local restaurants such as The Esquire Grill and The Kitchen, as well as stores such as Whole Foods and the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op.

But their mission goes far beyond feeding the affluent. Their main goal is to provide affordable, fresh vegetables to lower-income populations hit hard by the obesity epidedemic. The farm runs a farmers market in Del Paso Heights and farm stands at Head Start Programs.

It also runs Youth Corps, a volunteer program for students from 13 to 18 years old to help on the farm. The students learn to cook the food they grow, and they get to bring some home. Soil Born makes donations to food banks as well. I believe I read that about 30% of the produce is distributed that way. They would like to see it go much higher.

Their plans for the American River Site include an orchard, a kitchen and an outdoor classroom.

They have so many visions; they would like to see urban farms open up all around the region -- in exisiting neighborhoods and new ones. I think the possibilties for this non-profit are endless, and I for one am very excited about what they are doing. This is an organization I want to help by voluntering.

It's interesting, quite a few years ago, my neighbor Deborah and I were discussing taking a piece of county land right next to our community if the county allowed it, and turn it into a community garden. The county didn't go for it. Soil Born has taken the same concept, however turned it into a much bigger picture. One I support wholeheartedly.

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