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Taking Farm to Table to Next Level in Encinitas

NONPROFITS: Coastal Roots Supports Community with $2.5M Budget

Educating the community and helping people get in touch with roots – their own and with those imbedded in the Earth – are at the root of what Coastal Roots Farm in Encinitas is all about.

The nonprofit community farm is part of a 67-acre parcel purchased in 2012 by the Leichtag Foundation.

Coastal Roots Farm has vegetable production fields, an educational farm and gardens, an education center, a place for chickens to roam, a composting operation and more on its 17 acres of land known as Leichtag Commons.

Practicing organic farming, Coastal Roots Farm shares its harvest with those most in need in San Diego County and since 2014, has fed about 285,000 individuals.

Coastal Roots Farm, operating under four impact initiatives – regenerative agriculture, equitable food access, environmental education and Jewish life – has grown more than 432,000 pounds of produce and diverted 6.3 million pounds of waste from landfills.

A Jewish community farm, Coastal Roots Farm uses farming, gardening and food as a way to teach Jewish traditions and heritage.

Kesha Dorsey Spoor
Director of Philanthropy, Impact Strategy and Communications
Coastal Roots Farm

“We can complement what other Jewish philanthropic groups are doing in the community,” Kesha Dorsey Spoor, the farm’s director of philanthropy, impact strategy and communications, said.  It’s about collaboration, not competition.”

Javier Guerrero
President and CEO
Coastal Roots Farm

Coastal Roots Farm president and CEO Javier Guerrero said the Farm “nourishes community” and that is done through caring for people and the planet, “how we can care for the whole person and create meaningful authentic connections with people, to truly make a difference.”

While not open to the general public, it offers a variety of educational programs – “from pre-K to grey,” Spoor said – to reach students of all ages and backgrounds, abilities and identities. The farm is big on STEM, nutrition and workplace development education.

As part of its equitable food access, the farm offers a “pay-what-you-can” farm stand on the corner at 441 Saxony Road. It is open from noon to 3 p.m. on Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays. Coastal Roots Farm sells more than 60 varieties of seasonal crops year-round – and fresh eggs on Sundays.

“This is the only way the public can access our fresh produce,” Spoor said. “The rest of it goes off-site for distribution, to low-income seniors and families, active-duty military members and veterans, Holocaust survivors and Tribal families.”

The Farm stand generates about $120,000 in revenue a year, Spoor added.

“In the last three years alone our youth programming has grown from around 3,000 to 6,000 and now this year tracking for around 10,000 youth, with around half coming on scholarships covering program and transportation costs,” Guerrero said.

Coastal Roots Farm

FOUNDED: 2014
CEO: Javier Guerrero
HEADQUARTERS: Encinitas
BUSINESS: Nonprofit Farm and Education Center
BUDGET: $2.5 million
EMPLOYEES: 35
WEBSITE: coastalrootsfarm.org
CONTACT: hello@coastalrootsfarm.org
SOCIAL IMPACT: Four initiatives: regenerative agriculture, equitable food access, environmental education and Jewish Life
NOTABLE: CRF hosts private events of up to 300 people on its site in Encinitas

 

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