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2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Aglantis

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Environment, Food, Food Programs, Garden Clubs, Job Training, Natural Resources Conservation & Protection

Mission: ABOUT OUR SUSTAINABLE FARM​ ​The CoCo San Sustainable Farm which is a project of AgLantis TM, a 501c3 non-profit.  ​ QUADRUPLE BOTTOM LINE AgLantis is a California non-profit public benefit corporation,501c3. The work we are doing on the CoCo San Sustainable Farm has a quadruple bottom line – Food Equity, Education and Job Training, Environmental Protection and Economic Development.   PROBLEM & PROPOSED SOLUTION: FOOD EQUITY Food insecurity has dramatically increased, with hundreds of thousands in our county needing help. We provide free sustainably grown produce to schools, the food bank, and other non-profits that feed the poor. We currently grow produce on 1 out of 15 acres of public buffer land and soon we will build a high-tech AgraTech solar light greenhouse (144' X 42'), using recycled, agricultural-grade water, which is otherwise discharged into the Bay.  This recycled water is high in nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and micronutrients providing free fertilizer.  Hence, we use under-utilized resources to nearly eliminate 4 of the major costs of food production: Land, Water, Nutrients and Transportation.  ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ HANDS-ON STEM EDUCATION & JOB TRAINING One of the goals of the farm is to educate.  Every aspect of science touches a farm such as physics, soil science, hydrology, meteorology, and nutrition.  We work with local schools and community colleges and other groups to provide students and the rest of the community hands-on opportunities to learn.  ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT and JOB TRAINING Classes on the farm provide job skills training that is relevant to local businesses including hands-on STEM, safety, measurement, and the 21st Century Employability Skills needed to succeed in the workplace. We mentor interns through the Workforce Investment Opportunity Act and other federal programs. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION The environment will also benefit because we are rebuilding barren soil, planting crops that sequester carbon and clean the air and increasing ground water.   ​ Nearly 1 trillion gallons of reclaimed water are discharged into the greater San Francisco Bay waterways each year. This water is high in nitrogen and phosphorus which are bad for the Bay, but great for agriculture, providing free fertilizer.  Recycled water is approved by the State of CA for organic agriculture. ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ We have dramatically reduced the carbon footprint of this food by growing and delivering locally with natural fertilizer and other sustainable methods. In particular, we will be using regenerative agricultural methods which will increase organic matter in our soil and carbon sequestration in our soil. SCALABLE Sanitary districts in San Francisco Bay Area discharge as much as a trillion gallons of water in a year into the Bay waterways.  They also have thousands of acres of buffer land.  Our business model is scalable and once proven, can be replicated with other sanitary districts

Results: FOOD EQUITY: 25,000+ pounds of produced produced and 23,000+ pounds donated to the Food Bank of Contra Costa/Solano and other non-profits that serve those who are in need of food. EDUCATION: Hundreds attended classes on regenerative agriculture, drawdown, permaculture and more. Interns and volunteers learn hands-on and through teaching. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION: We have restored barren dirt to productive soil. We protect our Bay waterways by using recycled water that is high in nutrients, keeping it from being discharged into the Bay. We use and teach regenerative agricultural practices that sequester carbon in soil. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND JOB TRAINING: We have had a summer class for students and have taught interns who are youth finishing high school and supported by federal grants such as the Workforce Investment Opportunity Act Internship.

Target demographics: grow fresh produce to donate to Food Bank to feed those in need

Direct beneficiaries per year: We donated 10,000 pounds of produce from 1/4 acre, our first year. We are now donating about 1,000 pounds of fresh produce per week, from 1/2 acre. We have 15 acres to plant.

Geographic areas served: Martinez, CA Contra Costa County

Programs: 1) Food Equity: We grow fresh produce for charity; 2) Education: Hands-on science and engineering; 3) Environmental Protection: Regenerative agriculture organic without certification; 4) Economic Development and Job Training: Training local youth with internships.

Community Stories

12 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Colleen N.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering at the farm a few months ago and each time I go, I learn more about growing food and how to harvest the different crops for our community. Carolyn shares the importance of what we are doing, and I agree with her--nobody in our county should go hungry when we have extra land and water to grow healthy food! I am amazed at the productivity of the farm and the variety of crops we have been able to grow. I am so thankful I found a volunteer position that allows me to be outside and help others!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first learned about Coco San Sustainable Farm ( Aglantis) after reading about it in the Edible East Bay magazine. I was completely impressed by how one woman, Caroyln Phinney, was able not only to imagine bringing farm fresh produce to the Contra Costa Food Bank and local schools but she actually made it happen. So of course after reading her story I had to meet Carolyn and I had to volunteer on her farm.
What it took for Carolyn to get 15 acres of dirt to evolve into a beautiful and productive vegetable farm is nothing short of amazing.
I try to volunteer once a week at the farm and honestly wish I had more time. There is something so magical about working with the land, harvesting the produce and seeing the changes in the farm from week to week.
It’s also great to see the work and dedication of individuals like Carolyn in action, helping the community.

1 Markesha B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I really enjoy being a part of something so significant as volunteering at a farm that was built to provide nutritiously balanced meals to those in need of healthier food choices. I love that I get to help and also learn more about gardening/growing food. I've enjoyed the times that I have spent on the farm learning and harvesting.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This is just such an amazing project in so many ways. It's about feeding people in need; growing food sustainably and locally; using a local and sustainable water source (recycled water); teaching young people new career building skills in a way that inspires them; and bringing people together to build community, learn about the environment, and have fun. And there's much more!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered to get involved at the garden, And the response was very quick and welcoming. The meetup ap makes volunteer opportunities very easy

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've volunteered at the garden 5 or 6 times over the last 2 months; it's been a great experience every time. It gets me up and going on Saturday mornings, it's a good workout, and of course the best part is that all the food is donated.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization is doing amazing work using creative and sustainable urban agriculture methods to deliver high quality, nutritious produce to schools and communities in need.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

AgLantis runs the CoCoSan Sustainable Farm, a 15 acre piece of Central San buffer land. They demonstrate the value of using agricultural grade recycled water and buffer land to grow food to donate to the Food Bank and other non-profits. They address the food equity issue and also do hands on STEM education and job training. This project promotes economic development in general, and specifically along the Northern Waterfront in Contra Costa County. They address many area of environmental education. As a Board Member of Central San I'm proud of their work and outreach.
Michael R. McGill, P.E.; Board President Central San

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This urban farm produces so much! When I go for volunteering, we usually harvest hundreds of pounds of vegetables, and take them to donate to food bank and other charity organizations. The work that we put in is directly translating into all the vegetables produced and immediately helping the local community. It's such a great experience to be part of this nonprofit group.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered here yesterday and loved it!!! It sure is nice to be out there doing nice things for others!!!!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered at the farm for the first time for Michelle Obama's 1st Day of Service on aMartin Luther King Jr. weekend many years ago. I've watched it grow, literally, from an empty lot with hard dirt to a vibrant, beautiful, eco-friendly, sustainable farm producing 10's of thousands of pounds of beautiful organic produce to local food banks and more. I've enjoyed volunteering with a diverse group of volunteers of all ages to help plant, nurture and harvest herbs and vegetables. I can't say enough great things about this project and everyone involved - especially Ms. Carolyn. :)

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Aglantis is the realization of a utopian dream of turning waste products and waste land into a Garden of Eden which provides fresh, nutritious produce for poor and hungry people. It is 21st century alchemy which turns lead into gold. It has been a privilege for me to be an Aglantis volunteer. I hope that the Aglantis model will be replicated across the country, and around the world.