Your Guide to Soil Born Farms, an Urban Farm Near Sacramento

May 25, 2017

It’s obvious that Sacramento is extremely focused on farm-fresh food, through its exceptional farmers’ markets, farm-to-table eateries, and a multitude of ways our city is striving to focus on sustainable and healthy food. With so many wonderful farms in the region, we wanted to dig a bit deeper to learn more about the happenings at local farms and how the community can get involved in their efforts.

We stuck close to the core of the city by talking to the folks at Soil Born Farms, an urban farm located in Rancho Cordova. Get to know this amazing organization and discover ways you can get involved with their exciting events, programs and efforts to impact the local community and the planet as a whole.

 

What is Soil Born Farms?

Soil Born Farms is a local non-profit organization whose mission is to “create an urban agriculture and education project that empowers youth and adults to discover and participate in a local food system that encourages healthy living, nurtures the environment and grows a sustainable community.”

Soil Born Farms from Soil Born Farms on Vimeo.

According to Adriana Jones, the adult education coordinator of Soil Born Farms, “[The mission] is based on encouraging healthy living, nurturing and supporting the environment, and growing and connecting to sustainable community.”

Beyond their exciting programs about organic food and connecting to the land, Soil Born Farms is a community hub where people can come together to connect to one another in a fun and laid-back setting.

 

How Do I Get Fresh Produce From the Farm?

Become a CSA Member

Soil Born Farms Rancho Cordova, CA

Photo Courtesy of Soil Born Farms

Soil Born Farms’ community supported agriculture (CSA) program is a partnership between their nonprofit urban farms and a community of supporters. Sign up to receive a weekly or bi-weekly box filled with 8–10 items of seasonal produce, educational materials about the produce in the box, and a recipe explaining options for cooking the items into a delicious meal. Become a member to receive a delicious and diverse collection of fruits and vegetables every week or every other week from May 24–November 4, 2017!

 

Visit the Farm Stand

Soil Born Farms Rancho Cordova, CA

Photo Courtesy of Soil Born Farms

The Soil Born Farm Stand is happening every Saturday at the farm’s American River Ranch site in Rancho Cordova from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. from May 27 through November 18. This is a wonderful opportunity for visitors to buy locally grown fruits and vegetables, including produce grown on the farm and some procured items from local artisan vendors who supply local honey, nut butters, gluten-free bread, and much more. If there’s something Soil Born Farms can’t grow on the farm, possibly due to weather conditions, they will source it as locally as possible. The Farm Stand is an amazing community event, featuring live music from local musicians, a kids’ activity table, and more.

“The Farm Stand is not just a retail buying experience, it’s a full community experience,” Jones said. “The things we have here are unique and not necessarily things you can get elsewhere.”

 

How Did It All Begin?

Soil Born Farms Urban Agriculture & Education Project (the farm’s full title) has an endearing past. It began as a for-profit in the year 2000 by Shawn Harrison and Marco Franciosa, two young and inexperience organic farmers who had a dream and lots of ambition. They wanted to reconnect urban dwellers with healthy food and where it is grown, so they put a handwritten note in the mailbox of a local Sacramento resident and asked if they could farm on her land in exchange for produce. A deal was struck the next day, and thus marked the beginning of Soil Born Farms.

 

Why Is the Mission of Soil Born Farms So Important?

Two main goals of Soil Born Farms include producing local organic food and providing food access for all. But why go to great lengths to do such a thing?

“I think it’s so valuable to sustain human life and our environment,” Jones said. “Connecting to our environment and learning how to grow, and cook healthy, organic food is essential to our human and planetary survival.”

Soil Born Farms Rancho Cordova, CA

Jones feels that is it critical to learn how to grow and harvest organic food, and especially how to cook it. That explains the focus on their culinary arts program, which teaches basic cooking skills to create healthy meals with wholesome foods.

“Especially in our world of technology, people are connecting more with machines than they are with our roots and with the land,” said Jones. “That’s a big part of Soil Born Farm’s mission and the work we do, is connecting people to the land, and really going back to how our grandparents grew food before the use of chemical pesticides.”

 

What Events Are Coming Up On the Farm?

Homegrown Herbalism Course

Tuesdays (June 6, 13, 20 + 27) | 5:30–8 p.m.

Soil Born Farms Rancho Cordova, CA

Photo Courtesy of Soil Born Farms

This four-session course is an opportunity to explore herbal medicine “from soil to teacup.” Participants are involved in the gardening process of herbs as well as learning about various medicinal properties and how to make natural herbal remedies. This all-encompassing program takes you through the whole experience from planting to post-harvest incorporation.

Yoga on the Farm

Every Wednesday April 5–December 27 | 12–1 p.m.

Join yoga instructor, Summer Ward, for a one-hour yoga class on the farm every Wednesday through December 27. This class is open to all levels and is donation-based, with a suggested donation from $5–15. Classes blend breath work with intentional movement, and the style is intuitive and accommodating for all participants.

There are so many more events at Soil Born Farms! See what’s coming up.

 

What Educational Opportunities Are There for Adults?

Soil Born Farms Rancho Cordova, CA

Photo Courtesy of Soil Born Farms

The answer is: so many. Soil Born Farms has an extensive adult education program, covering a wide range of class options, including Grow Your Groceries, Herbal Studies, Culinary Arts, Nature and Environment, Natural Arts and Crafts, Animal Husbandry, and Teacher Training. Take a look at their wide range of options designed to inspire and educate you to participate in a local sustainable food system.

A highlight of the adult educational programs is the Bird Walk class, a two-hour tour once a month on Saturday mornings from 8–10 a.m. They tie this in with the Farm Stand schedule, providing a great opportunity to go on a bird walk and buy fresh produce from the stand afterwards!

 

And Kids?

Soil Born Farms Rancho Cordova, CA

Photo Courtesy of Soil Born Farms

Roots and Wings

Soil Born Farms’ Roots and Wings education program focuses on experiential, hands-on learning in the natural world, in both the garden and the kitchen. Activities include field trips, classes, workshops, farm tours, summer camp, and job training.

Field trips are a common way kids experience the farm for a few hours with hands-on activities. They may either visit for a morning or go on four separate trips for a series of interactive learning at the farm.

Soil Born Farms also provides three summer day camps for kids mid-June through early August, including Farm Camp, Cooks Camp, and Nature Camp. In fact, their camps are among our favorites in the area!

Growing Together

This program is particularly exciting, as it essentially brings the farm to local schools. The Growing Together school garden initiative is an exciting program that works directly with schools to educate about school gardens and healthful living, integrating the art of gardening with school curriculum standards. They tie gardening in with math, science and art, incorporating the standard curriculum provided by the school district. There are nine schools participating in this program within the Sacramento City Unified District, including Pacific Elementary, Ethel Baker Elementary, and Oak Ridge Elementary.

 

What’s in Store For the Future?

Soil Born Farms Rancho Cordova, CA

With a rich history with lots of growth (no pun intended!), Soil Born Farms has a bright future as well. They plan on furthering their Wellness Wednesday program, creating a Family Community Night with dinner, entertainment and a farm tour, opening a retail store, and ultimately becoming a more all-inclusive event center. Follow along with Soil Born Farms to be a part of these exciting upcoming developments!

 

How Can the Community Help?

There are three main ways to help keep Soil Born Farms alive and thriving!

Soil Born Farms Rancho Cordova, CA

Photo Courtesy of Soil Born Farms

Volunteer

Soil Born Farms is always looking for people to volunteer — whether that’s helping out at a community event, working in the fields and pulling weeds, planting and harvesting, or attending their Summer Field Days, where you experience a day in the life of a farmer.

Donate

This is perhaps the most helpful way to support the farm. As a non-profit organization, Soil Born Farms heavily depends on donations for continued support. There are two ways to give your monetary donations:

  1. One-Time or Monthly Giving Circle (Even a $10/month donation goes a long way!)
  2. Becoming a Community Partner (There are many partnership options!)

Come to Events + Get Involved

It’s simple! Coming to the farm’s events and participating in their programs is an easy and fun way to support their efforts. Visit their weekly farmstand, become a CSA member, and attend their fun community events and classes!

Holly Ragsdale

Holly Ragsdale

Holly is a content specialist for Lyon Real Estate, the leading independent real estate company in the greater Sacramento region. The Lyon blog focuses on community news + local events, as well as home inspiration + design trends. Enjoy!

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