Coastal Roots Farm Aims to Foster a Vibrant and Healthy Community
The Leichtag Foundation established Coastal Roots Farm in response to local interest in sustainability, social justice, and the high number of low-income households lacking access to fresh food. The farm, an independent organization, now offers a range of programs, services, and volunteer opportunities to address gaps in the local food system.
“Coastal Roots is a nonprofit community farm and education center where we nourish connections – to ourselves, our neighbors, and the land,” said Interim Executive Director Daron “Farmer D” Joffe. While the farm broke ground in 2014, in 2015 the organization honored an ancient Jewish agriculture tradition called Shmita, during which the land was left to rest and renew while an above-ground farm was used to cultivate over 25,000 pounds of donated produce. As of September 2015, the farm is back at ground level and growing strong.
Programs at the farm are inclusive for people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds. They range from organic gardening to homesteading to water conservation. In addition, the farm has established partnerships with local schools to integrate programs into the education curriculum. Funding for programs is raised through a farm stand, food truck, consulting services, and the help of various partners.
On Jan. 24, Coastal Roots Farm will hold their first ever Food Forest Festival. The festival will let visitors plant an edible forest in the heart of Encinitas. Open volunteer hours are offered every Sunday and Tuesday. “Everyone who wants to be involved in the farm can be by sharing ideas, donating resources, planting or cultivating the harvest, or participating in events. There’s no contribution too small,” said Daron. Learn more at www.coastalrootsfarm.org and