A new farm stand in Encinitas, San Diego, California is helping to make locally grown, organic produce more readily available and affordable for those who are struggling.
The weekly Farm Stand has a “pay what you can afford” philosophy, and is run by the non-profit Coastal Roots Farm. Coastal Roots Farm, conceived and funded by the Leichtag Foundation, is about a year old and is modeled after Jewish community farms in other parts of the country. Its main goals are to produce food for the local community, to model sustainable agriculture, and to reflect and serve the values of the Judaism, which is deeply rooted in agriculture. An agricultural way of life helps promote social justice, self sufficiency and environmental stewardship. The farm also showcases innovative water conservation techniques that have been developed in Israel.
The farm stand uses “Suggested Donation Pricing” which displays prices that are comparable to a traditional farmers’ market produce. Customers are told what the produce costs to produce, but then customers can privately decide what to pay based on what they afford. The farm stand also accepts EBT (food stamps).
Coastal Roots Farm has donated 80 percent of its produce to local food banks and community organizations, such as St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Encinitas, the Hand Up Youth food pantry program and Jewish Family Services.
As for the future of Coastal Roots Farm, they are looking for additional funding that would allow it to grow more food. They are also working to get a grant that would help purchase a refrigerated truck and pop up farm stand to be able to go out into the community and reach those most in need.
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