Community Soil Foundation: Building Healthy Communities Together

Community Soil Foundation is the non-profit sister organization of Community Soil, an edible-restorative landscape & farmstead development company.

The Community Soil Foundation raises awareness of the practices and methods of market organic farming and it’s benefits on community, health and ecology, while offering students and members of the community an opportunity to learn how to grow as well as gain directly organic food production in Sonoma County, California. Our projects are unique in that we run two types of programs (school gardens and community gardens) that are stacked together in a way that is mutually beneficial on a single parcel of under-supported public land.  It took several years of unwavering determination to finally gain access to public land and break ground for our flagship project, the Larkfield Community Garden Project but we have the full support and participation of the local community including agencies, businesses, organizations and residents.  Boy are we growing now!

Our projects are unique in that we run two types of garden programs (school and community) that are stacked together in a way that is mutually beneficial on a single parcel of public land.  We choose small parcels of under-supported public park land adjacent to schools and communities to site our projects.  This optimizes the overall activity and success of the garden as well as optimizing the scope of community reach and benefit.  School gardens tend to struggle during summer vacation when community gardens are most active.  Paring the two gives the garden the care and the attention it needs throughout the year.  And it also gets neighbors of all ages out in the garden together to have fun and grow beautiful tasty food!

The Larkfield Community Garden in Larkfield-Wikiup near Santa Rosa, California is our flagship project and took several years of unwavering determination to finally get access to public land and our vision.  This demonstration farm and garden is intended to teach/show local residents how to grow food in Sonoma County. Activities at the garden connect schools in the Mark West Union School District, and the Mark West Little League, with Sonoma County Regional Parks and Recreation, the Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market, and many other local businesses and residents.

This project raises awareness of the practices and methods of local market farming, while also offering students and members of the local community an opportunity to understand how organic food is grown. Subsequent yields from the farm will be offered at a farm stand or donated to a local food bank. Our vision is to have kids and families operating a farm stand adjacent to the Little League snack shack, and we are also interested in setting up a stand once a week at The Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market at the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts. All donations made to the farm stand will go back to the Larkfield Community Garden Project to fund tools, seeds and curriculum development.

The Larkfield Community Garden Project is an outdoor classroom, facilitated by local farmers in collaboration with Community Soil Foundation’s Garden Coordinator and faculty from schools in the Mark West Union School District. The curriculum emphasizes protection of natural resource and environmental education in the realm of small-scale organic farming and habitat restoration. Additionally, this project hosts educational volunteer days to the public, as well as volunteer days for school kids and Little League teams. These hours can also satisfy community service hours for students.

This is a truly community-operated garden and thrives the steady participation of volunteers.

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