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Pie Ranch

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Employment Preparation & Procurement, Job Training

Mission: Pie Ranch's mission is to cultivate a healthy and just food system from seed to table.

Results: Our educational programs have introduced thousands of youth and adults to a working organic farm, taught them about the important benefits of eating healthful, sustainably-grown food, and increased public support for local, organic farmers. Our Emerging Farmer Training has produced nearly two dozen new farmers, who now have the skills and knowledge to work the land and care for the environment. Through regional organizing, we are making San Mateo County a place where more organic local food is available to consumers, where farmland is preserved and continues to be used for food production, and where more farmers can afford to operate small, sustainable farms. In the long term, these programs will help build a healthier, more relationship-based local food system, in which food production will help preserve the precious land, animals, and natural features of the beautiful place we call home.

Target demographics: Youth and Adults of all ages, to learn where their food comes from.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Last year, 900 youth visited Pie Ranch and learned about the source of their food; Pie Ranch welcomed over 3,500 people to the farm for educational programming; we began a new CSA for our three partner school communities; we trained four apprentices and three farm interns; and 55 high school youth were employed as HomeSlice interns, learning about food, farming, nutrition and social justice.

Geographic areas served: San Francisco Bay Area

Programs: Our programs provide youth education in food, farming and the environment; training for emerging farmers in organic food production and small-farm marketing; organizing in collaboration with our regional allies to advocate for farmland preservation, affordable access to farmland, and production of local, sustainable food for local markets; public programs including events, classes and talks, monthly workdays and barn dances, and a bustling roadside farm stand.

Community Stories

19 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

Pie Ranch is a truly unique place - located in a beautiful spot with wonderful people doing great work. Jered and Nancy, co-owners and co-directors, bring thoughtful awareness to issues of sustainable, healthy and just food systems - for both you and the planet. Incorporating the best management practices with youth programs dedicated to creating an awareness of the food system, Pie Ranch has developed a holistic approach to growing and educating about food. Most recently, their collaboration with the local indigenous tribe, the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, brings attention to the culture and land management practices of the original inhabitants of the land on which they farm. Pie Ranch is definitely a place to visit, and don't forget to stop by the farm stand when you do!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have always loved Pie Ranch people and their mission! They provide high quality produce while building community and sharing farming knowledge with young people. They grow and bake the best pies too! All of the staff are friendly, warm and very knowledgeable. I live in Berkeley, but go down to buy and eat as often as I can. I wish I could live there myself. I have 2 grandsons and they always bug me to take them to the Ranch! Pie Ranch fills a great need in our communities, teaching the art of coaxing good, healthy, organic food from the earth! They are simply the best community farming venture in Northern California!

Advisor

Rating: 5

Pie Ranch is one of the best organizations I have ever advised.

When I walk into Pie Ranch and meet those who work and volunteer there, I experience a combination of high skill and experience with a "being the change you want to see in the world" attitude. Positivity and genuineness fill the air and one connects to the land, its past, present, and future, unlike most farms I've ever visited.

When I walk out of Pie Ranch, I leave with a sense of presence, excitement, and community that helps me breathe more at ease, knowing what the future of organic farming, land stewardship, and social justice is, as exemplified by this place and all in it.

On top of it all, of course, there is the pie... The kind no one can pass up...

Alfredo Vergara-Lobo

Board Member

Rating: 5

I'm absolutely in love with this place, the animals, and the people. The Pie Ranch staff are dedicated, diligent, and visionary. My oldest son has such a connection with the people, the animals and the farm. Participate in a work day, dance at a barn dance - keep coming back. When people ask me what an example might be of how our food system should look in the future, I point them to Pie Ranch. Go and visit and you will understand why.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Working in philanthropy, I've had the opportunity to get to know hundreds of nonprofit leaders. Jered and Nancy are among the best I've known. They truly live the vision that Pie Ranch seeks to achieve, and the rest of the staff are equally committed to creating a just and healthy food system. Beyond the people, the farm itself is a transformational place - you'll understand when you visit!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This Place is amazing. They are full members of the larger community. I love going to the volunteer day/barn dances on the 3rd Saturday. Their outreach for education of the need for organic is remarkable.
and their pies rock ..... I'm glad they are there ...

alliefung

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered for several different events with Pie Ranch and it has always been a wonderful and valuable experience. Their mission, of sustainable farming and connecting youths to the land, is admirable and necessary. The link between land to the food on our table is a lesson that many people need. I have been afforded, as a volunteer, many occasions to experience life on a farm that would have never been available to me. Growing up in suburban California and now living in an urban environment, I wish I had had these opportunities as a child; opportunities that Pie Ranch now makes essential to many of the schools they partner with. A definite worthy and local organization.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Full disclosure: I was a Board member many years ago.

What I love about Pie Ranch is its generous sharing of knowledge, time and a way of relating to food, the self and others.

Being a part of the Pie Ranch community is a good feeling and I'm thrilled that immersion into that pool of goodness is available to regional youth and community members.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a truly fantastic organization! The opportunities they provide to volunteers and the students they served are unparalleled within the Bay Area. Weather exposing students to advocacy related to sustainable agriculture or providing a physical means by which students can connect to their food, Pie ranch provides the students it serves with knowledge that they cannot get anywhere else. Pie Ranch is a truly unique and completely remarkable organization!

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

I work in the philanthropic sector, advising family foundations on their charitable giving. In 2012, my organization oversaw and advised on the donation of over $62 million in grants to over 2,000 charitable organizations around the country and world, although the marjority of grants are in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. Bottom line is I know about a lot of nonprofits, and have see the best, the worst, and the great middle. Pie Ranch is one of the very few that I have gotten to know through my work and have fallen in love with their mission and their work. Pie Ranch is still in relative infancy, but its leadership has been doggedly focused on goals well beyond the core programs, which get high school kids to understand a healthy, local, sustainable food system. Pie Ranch wants to be a leader in a national revolution to push back against industrial food systems that are making us sick, taking away a basic human skill set of growing and cooking food, and harming our environment. It is a passionate and mission-driven organization with highly competent and dedicated leadership and a wonderful sense of place in Northern California, the U.S. and the world.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Pie Ranch is an incredibly ambitious organization with huge, culture shifting goals that it is succeeding in achieving. Everyone involved in the powerful work at Pie Ranch is incredibly knowledgeable, gracious, organized, and thoughtful. It is truly an honor to have experienced such a beautiful place and to be able to connect with the thinkers and action takers behind it.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I visited Pie Ranch as a volunteer for the day. Wow, what a beautiful
set up and place for students to learn about farming. During the lunch hour everyone sat in a circle and discussed food health and diet. This is an amazing spot run by amazing people and a great place for students to learn valuable lessons.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Pie Ranch is somewhat of a hidden gem, which is truly the beauty of it. I visited Pie Ranch with my class to further their learning about sustainability and community. Not only did students walk away with a first-hand experience of farming, but their sense of self in nature prevailed as well. The natural space of Pie Ranch coupled with its organizational setup and knowledge of staffers allow educators to feel confident that the trip to Pie Ranch is well worth the travel, especially with the literal cherry (pie) on top at the end of our visit.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Every time I visit Pie Ranch, I am forever changed in someway, whether it be spiritually or intellectually. Pie Ranch is always a blast, getting down and dirty turning some wind rows or weeding lets me connect with nature. The interns and apprentices are wonderful and welcoming people and the fresh organic food is great.
Two thumbs up!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Pie Ranch has dramatically changed my life and the lives of my students. Because of Pie Ranch, my high school has a cooking program, a garden with chickens, a paid internship program and a summer internship program. Students have so many opportunities to learn about various aspects of the food system.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Pie Ranch continues to inspire me as both a force for change in the farming community & an beautiful educational space in which to bring clients, and connect them to the source of their food. There is no place I trust more in contributing to, knowing that both the local community & the world at large benefit from their programs & efforts.

Thank you Pie Ranch!

Olivia11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

By attending the Emerging Farmer Apprenticeship at Pie Ranch I learned many valuable skills that helped me move forward in the field of sustainable agriculture. The staff are comprised of the most supportive, caring and fun people I've ever worked with. I felt like I was a part of a family, and I still do even after I graduated from the program and moved on. Pie Ranch is an awesome place to visit, eat pie and be happy!

2

Client Served

Rating: 4

Pie Ranch was a powerful catalyst for our vision of farming for ourselves and helping to grow a better food system. Their inspiring example and tireless dedication to sustainable farming translated into a transformative year for my wife and I as part of their Emerging Farmer Training Program. While we worked with the staff to develop our own skills as stewards of the land, we were exposed to a version of agriculture that encompasses social justice, public health, youth empowerment and commitment to community. The values that guide the work of Pie Ranch as an organization have soaked into our own practice as farmers and fellow builders of the new food economy. Even after our year apprenticed at Pie Ranch, the staff there have continued to encourage us and connect us to the broader farming community. Their standing within San Mateo County and the broader world of sustainable agriculture speaks volumes about the place of respect they hold in the eyes of their fellow growers, educators and advocates.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

My teenage son completed the Pie Ranch HomeSlice Internship Program in 2012 and came away with a deep respect for nutrition, farming, community and how our food choices impact every facet of our lives. He learned skills that will serve him in his future including responsibility to himself and to a team, basic planting / harvesting of food, animal care, and inventory. He also feels that he had instructors/employers that would remember his contributions and whom he could seek a reference from in the future. He continues to volunteer annually at the Farm to Table fundraising events as do I am my other son. This is a non-profit that exceeds their mission statement in every sense.