Annual Review 2018 / Solutions

2018: A Year in Review

Our most transformative year in organizational history

2018: A Year in Review

Looking to the future, in early 2019, we will plant hundreds of trees across our 28 acres – avocado, apple, mulberry, orange, grapefruit, lemon, pomegranate, tangerine, persimmon, guava, fig, jujube, olive, stone fruit, and nut trees. The future is abundant!

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2018 has been one of the most important years for our organization. In our tenth year, together alongside our dedicated community, we have many inspiring accomplishments to celebrate. Here are some highlights

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO: Expanded our footprint in San Juan Capistrano from 1 to 28 acres with plans to build a world-class community farm and learning institute that increases our community’s exposure to agriculture, food, and artisan culture. As we expand our footprint, we have the opportunity to scale our impact and model regenerative agriculture that can transform our community and culture. This farm will become the platform through which we can achieve a shift that transcends food not only for our community but the three million people who surround it.

ENCINITAS: Partnered with the Encinitas Union School District’s where on the 10 acre Farm Lab, we grew over 19,000 pounds of food that nourishes the 5,400 students in the district with local, organic fruits and vegetables. Every day, students across 9 schools enjoy healthy, organic ingredients in their school lunch grown by The Ecology Center Encinitas at Farm Lab. This site will continue to develop as we offer more community programming and experiential activities for families.

FARM STAND: our newly-designed Farm Stand offers nutritious, locally-grown, organic ingredients. Our community now has daily access to local goods, ingredients, and other tools to thrive. All ingredients are sourced within 250 miles of San Juan Capistrano and curated to reflect our community and region.

ROAD TRIP: We launched Road Trip, our 32-ft double-decker, mobile ecological experience, and engaged over 5,000 students at 11 schools in hands-on workshops about seed saving, growing food, and composting. Beyond school residencies, Road Trip’s versatility and mobility allow us to provide deeper engagement and inspiration to thousands of community members with farm-to-table meals, skills-based workshops, and community celebrations.

COOKBOOK: We completed and published our first cookbook, a manual for an ecological food future. This over 300-page cookbook includes recipes and stories from our network of chefs, farmers, purveyors, and community.

ECOLOGICAL EXPERIENCES: Engaged over 10,000 children, families, and community members on site in skills-building workshops, educational experiences, and community festivals that inspire change. Every day, people from across the region join our ecosystem to help plant seeds, tend the garden, create with their hands, and learn new skills. Experiences onsite inspire our community and invite them to see, touch, and taste a thriving ecosystem.

COMMUNITY TABLE: Hosted 1,000 people around the table with their local farmers and chefs to celebrate the abundance of the seasons and show our community what an ecological food experience tastes like. As we gather around the table and enjoy a shared meal together, we are connected to one another through the farmer that grows the food and the chef that prepares it. These educational farm dinner experiences bring our community together and inspire change for our food future.