Food Production & Distribution
Cooperation Humboldt's food team is an active and energetic group focusing on our food systems. We believe that access to healthy food is a basic human right, and should be provided to everyone regardless of wealth or income level. We are currently assessing the local food landscape, and testing several pilot programs (some in partnership with HSU students), including establishing free food pantries, converting front lawns into community gardens, and installing vertical gardens in public spaces. Ultimately, we envision transforming our public spaces into food producing landscapes for the benefit of all residents.
We aim to amplify the great things already happening in the solidarity economy here on the North Coast, as well as to build our community's capacity for responsible resilience going forward. Please explore, connect with, and support the people and organizations listed below already doing great work, and/or contact us to join our work towards making this program area even more robust!
Existing Resources & Programs
Coming Soon: Cooperation Humboldt's Farm My Yard Program
Falling Fruit - an interactive map that aims to facilitate intimate connections between people, food, and the natural organisms growing in our neighborhoods. Add new sources of shared/foraged foods, and share with your friends and neighbors!
Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) is part of a worldwide effort to link visitors with organic farmers, promote an educational exchange, and build a global community conscious of ecological farming practices.
Trends & Opportunities to Explore Moving Forward
We've listed some of our project ideas below. Each of these would contribute to Humboldt County becoming increasingly self sufficient and resilient when it comes to our food supply, along with strengthening community bonds. If you'd like to help in any way, please get in touch.
Free Fruit Trees
Cooperation Humboldt would provide funding and volunteer labor to plant food producing trees, bushes, or plants in local neighborhoods with inadequate access to nearby sources for healthy food. These could be located in privately owned front yards or on public land. All plants would be accompanied by signage indicating that they are for the benefit of the whole community, and everyone is welcome to take what they need.
By providing free container gardens to low-income folks and residents of food desert areas in our community, we can empower our neighbors to care for themseleves and one another, while re-acquainting the population with a relationship to soil and gardening that has largely been lost during the last couple of generations.
Modeled after a program in Laramie, WY, this project would aim to install living ‘food walls’ at various locations, particularly in food desert areas. All plants would be accompanied by signage indicating that they are for the benefit of the whole community, and everyone is welcome to take what they need. There is also a potential for training low income folks to plant and maintain these vertical gardens and sell what they grow to local restaurants, etc.
A great way to bring farm-fresh produce to food desert areas – a farmer’s market on wheels, which can travel to urban food deserts as well as the more remote areas of our county, bringing affordable, healthy, locally-grown produce to those who need it most.
Farm My Yard
Farm My Yard is a program that enables homeowners to make small amounts of land (even just a front yard) available for use by local farmers, with multiple benefits including converting fairly useless expanses of lawn into productive spaces, building community spirit and resilience, and helping farmers to earn a living without the pressure of needing to find a large agricultural area to farm. Cooperation Humboldt’s role would be to establish one or more example gardens/partnerships to serve as models, and to create a system for connecting land owners with farmers.
Food Forests are another concept we’d like to champion here in Humboldt County. A food forest is a gardening technique or land management system, which mimics a woodland ecosystem by substituting edible trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals. Fruit and nut trees make up the upper level, while berry shrubs, edible perennials and annuals make up the lower levels. We envision a time in the not-so-distant future when public parks, landscaped areas in front of public buildings and businesses, and privately owned front yards are bursting with beautiful food-producing plants and trees, with the ripe fruit and nuts freely available for every citizen to access.