This year we are raising funds to support Soil Born Farms programs that focus on positive climate actions in our community. We’ve implemented Regenerative Agriculture practices at the 55 acre historic American River Ranch, on the farm & orchard, demonstration gardens and in our Youth Garden. We are incorporating these practices and teaching about everyday actions that bring us one step closer to a Climate Safe California. Our volunteer program, community education program, and Farm to School programs provide opportunities to demonstrate and communicate with youth and adults about the far reaching benefits that are feasible at farms, school gardens and in our own backyards. Using organic practices, efficient irrigation management, and increasing soil health are just a few of the ways we aim to make a positive impact on our ecosystem.
2023 ushers in a variety of activities that will lighten our footprint, improve ecological diversity and improve production.
First and foremost, the planned 3-acre agroforestry project dominated by Oak and Elderberry species is slated for planting at the end of the year. This dynamic ecosystem will integrate and celebrate the wisdom of the Nisenan people, while lifting up the power of native plants to feed, educate, diversify, and restore.
The farm team will also be expanding greens production using climate friendly field tunnels. With funding provided through the California Department of Food and Agriculture, a total of ten 100 foot-long tunnels will expand our Greens to Grow On program which will produce a variety of greens and other crops year-round destined for the salad bars of our local school lunch programs. These tunnels will help us reduce water consumption by approximately 30% by providing protection from the intense Sacramento sun during late spring to early fall.
Our team continues its steady march toward low tillage farming and the intensive use of a variety of tools including transition to permanent production beds, use of biologically rich compost, continuing to mulch pathways which acts as soil protection - keeping moisture in and limiting the number of weeds in the field, managing intensive year-round cover cropping, installation of soil moisture monitoring systems and introducing more strategies that encourage natural pest management like raptor perches and Bluebird boxes. All of these actions in our production fields will promote carbon sequestration and build soil biology.
We will continue to work on creek restoration along Cordova Creek which runs into the American River. This will continue to help increase ecological diversity on our farm and in the American River Parkway. The creek, which once was a cement waterway is dynamic and hosts an array of birds, other animals and many trees, shrubs and native plants. The bevers have been proficient at building dams which has increased the watershed and expanded the once narrow creek into a wider and more supportive habitat for the variety of animal and plant species that are now thriving along it.
We are teaching the community all about this great work through classes and field trips at the American River Ranch and in school gardens. Building ecological diversity and habitat through native plants, working to restore soil biology and reducing water usage can be done by everyone in the urban gardens throughout the community.
Help us continue all these great works and more with your generous donation this Big Day of Giving season.
General & Ongoing Needs
Restore and Develop the historic American River Ranch:
Replace underground gas and sewer utilities, prepare for new Animal Barn Construction, renovate our Farmhouse Kitchen, improve pedestrian pathways for improved access, install shade structures in the outdoor theater, expand native ecosystem and grassland habitat.
Advance the School Garden Initiative:
Expand our Train the Trainer program for teachers, interns and community partners focused on improving school garden experiences for more students grades 1-12 attending Title I school and creating dynamic school gardens in every school.
Seed the Future of the Edible City:
Grow our greenhouse and garden shop to provide more starts of organic vegetables, fruit tree stock, native edibles, and medicinal and culinary herbs. This will support our Harvest Sacramento, Growing Together, and Grow Your Groceries programs.
Grow More Food and Farmers:
Expand our Grow Your Groceries program with more online and in-person training for home, community and small urban farmers. Improve vegetable production systems focused on producing greens for local school salad bar programs.
Expand the Roots & Wings Youth Education program:
Bring our youth programming at the farm back into full motion serving over 3,500 students on field trips to the farm, provides summer day camps for youth in grades K-8, and teen empowerment after school and summer programs.
Develop the Harvest Sacramento Program:
Train and educate more community volunteers at the farm and in the community to empower and inspire residents to grow more and nurture an Edible City.
Focus on Whole Family Health:
Launch a new Healthy Families program and increase classes and hands-on training focused on overall body and mind wellness.