On South Ventura Avenue, Edible Schoolyard Stockton Community Farm is remaking the former Boggs Tract site into an outdoor education, gathering, and cultivation center. In 2022, the nonprofit (with locations in both Stockton and Berkeley) aims to welcome K-12 students for kitchen and garden classes and continue teen volunteer programs and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) box giveaways. The organization will also offer online and in-person learning experiences for educators, students, and parents.
“Stockton is an incredible community. We have been so welcomed here,” says Angela McKee-Brown, executive director of The Edible Schoolyard Project. After signing the lease for the six-acre farm in August 2021, the group got to work meeting their goals, which includes farming 3 ½ acres and maintaining 32 plots for local residents. In the future, they plan to hold workshops, seminars, and movie nights.
Edible Schoolyard Stockton has come a long way since 2018. That year, the Stockton branch started out as a conversation between former mayor Michael Tubbs and chef and Edible Schoolyard founder Alice Waters. “Their talks grew into a series of dinners on basketball courts and in community centers. Residents shared what they hoped we would accomplish,” Angela says.
The nonprofit kicked off December 2021 by planting a wide variety of crops, including “culturally relevant” plants, such as Chinese cabbage, broadleaf collard greens, and strawberries. It will harvest the produce between late February and mid-March for free CSA boxes it has been providing to residents of south Stockton. “We’re also currently purchasing produce for the CSA boxes from Mt. Moriah Farms in Lodi, Laiger Ranches in Escalon, and The Urban Edge Farm in Brentwood. This supports local agriculture and helps feed the community,” Angela says.
Another Edible Schoolyard Stockton mission is to support native pollinators like bees and butterflies. “We are planting the remaining 2 ½ acres of the farm with cover crops that will feed the soil. We are also planting six types of native pollinator-friendly flowers in our gardens,” says Angela.
At Boggs Tract, owned by the Port of Stockton, Edible Schoolyard staff plan to draw on lessons they learned at the organization’s prior site, Taylor Leadership Academy. “At Boggs Tract, we hope to connect elders who’ve been growing fruits and vegetables with children who will visit on school field trips,” Angela says.
All of these goals take money. Edible Schoolyard is funded by individual donors including local businesses, a USDA Farmers to Families grant, and a Transformative Climate Communities grant from the State of California.
Edible Schoolyard Stockton Community Farm
466 S. Ventura Ave., Stockton