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The mission of Benicia Community Gardens is to support local food security – by helping local citizens establish and care for gardens throughout the city that provide fresh food, fellowship and discovery, and by increasing citizens’ access to sustainable, regional sources of wholesome food – thereby strengthening community resilience.
Welcome to Benicia Community Gardens! We are a volunteer-based non-profit organization dedicated to creating a healthy, sustainable, community-based food system through hands-on learning, collaboration, and leadership. Our programs help local residents learn how to grow their own edible ecosystems and increase access to fresh, wholesome foods produced by sustainable farms, dairies, and fisheries.
We hope our initiatives inspire other communities to adopt ecologically responsible practices to meet the challenges of climate change and resource scarcity. We are on our way, step by step, to help our community and others thrive in our time.
- Producing food inside the community: There’s plenty of underutilized land in communities for growing food locally. Creating community gardens, backyard gardens, orchards, permaculture food forests, along with urban farms on larger acreage where feasible, can be thought of as building elements of a diverse and distributed “farm” with the advantages of sharing the benefits within a local setting and with new local friends. Joining growers with local small-scale food producers working under the Cottage Industry Law expands the local food web. Learn more on our “Education,” “Programs” and Resources pages.
- Providing support for local, small-scale farmers, ranchers, and fishermen: People laboring on land and sea to provide healthy food for our tables need our commitment to their enterprises. Building relations with producers and suppliers and linking local people directly to them through such programs as Community Supported Agriculture helps create the connections necessary for a strong community food web with ties that bind.
- Sharing food abundance with community members in need: To meet the need for good nutrition and give access to healthy foods to everyone, a community food system must address the challenges of reaching low-income families, the elderly and others who live on the edge. A beginning step can be to grow organic food in community gardens in plots designated exclusively for donation and to glean surplus harvests in people’s yards (fruit and veggies) to share with others in need. “Benicia Community Share” is taking that first step. The aim is to find creative ways to engage low-income community members to take part in food production.
In order to build and support these vital elements of community-based food systems, we are dedicated to:
- Education within the community;
- Creation of organizational, financial, and legal structures that allow community members to participate in this budding alternative food system;
- Promotion and support of new economic relationships within the community, and development of new business models whereby profit is not the major focus, thus to create the means for barter and social enterprises within the concept of a gift economy;
- Active work with local governments to establish local food policies in line with our vision of a thriving, sustainable, and just food system.