Good Farm Fund Awards Fire Relief & Prevention Grants to Local Farms

Ukiah, CA – Good Farm Fund, a fiscally sponsored project of North Coast Opportunities, awarded eight grants to Mendocino and Lake County farms for fire readiness and resilience.

With generous funding from Redwood Credit Union’s Community Fund and California Fire Foundation, the fire-safe grants will provide critical equipment and infrastructure supplies to small farms.

The grants illustrate that a relatively small amount of financial support can go a long way in assisting small farmers to find success in fire-prone areas. Averaging under $5,000 each, the grants will be used to purchase items such as water storage tanks, generators, chain saws, solar chargers and portable fencing.

“With hotter, drier, and longer fire seasons, small farms in Northern California must undertake measures to improve wildfire readiness,” said Caroline Radice, project coordinator of Good Farm Fund. “These grants will help local farms stay viable as weather patterns shift, and will also improve overall farm efficiency,”

Farms receiving grants are Cerro Negro Farm, Coming Home to Country Farm, Folk Life Farm, Headwaters Grazing, Inland Ranch Organics, Irene’s Garden, Rancho Mariposa & Cinnamon Bear Farm, and Wavelength Farm.

Radice adds, “We are very fortunate to have the support of Redwood Credit Union and California Fire Foundation. Both organizations have demonstrated an ongoing commitment to local agriculture.” 

“The focus of Redwood Credit Union and the RCU Community Fund has long included the provision of meaningful support and immediate relief for our communities after natural disasters,” says Matt Martin, senior vice president of community and government relations at RCU. “The funding we’re supplying here helps proactively take that commitment to the next level—planning ahead to help prepare for these types of challenging times. And we’re honored to be able to help in this way.”

The grants were evaluated in coordination with the Mendocino County Fire Safe Council.   

Jeannie Elizabeth Kelly of Coming Home to Country farm in Clearlake will use the grant to replace fencing destroyed during the Sulphur Bank Fire in 2017 and remove burned trees that are falling on existing fencing. “Two years after the Sulpher Bank Fire burned through my property,  I was still struggling to get my head above water when the Covid-19 pandemic hit,” shared Elizabeth.  “Had it not been for the Good Farm Fund grant to provide the big boost I needed, I don’t know how my farm would have survived.”

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Good Farm Fund is a fiscally sponsored project of North Coast Opportunities that aims to provide direct support to small farmers and increase local food security for underserved members of our community. 

Stay tuned for details on our upcoming farm-to-table summer party, coming soon!


Donate today to celebrate and keep this community effort going strong!


Our beloved summer event has been postponed

6th Annual Good Farm Fund Benefit
Yokayo Ranch, Ukiah

Our July 2020 event has been postponed in the interest of public health.

Don’t worry, the best feast of the year will happen! We are hoping to reschedule for sometime in September. In the coming months, we’ll be working out all the new details and will update you as soon as possible.

Sign up for our e-newsletter to get the most current event updates.

This event has become the most beloved farm-to-table experience of the summer! A Midsummer Night’s Feast is a fabulous showcase of our region’s best food & culinary talent, featuring the people who feed our community, from shovel to fork.

Local food doesn’t get better than this. In one summer evening we bring together about 20 of the area’s “local-food-forward” chefs and pair them up with our best local farms and ranches to collaborate on one of a kind seasonal plates.

Libations will include local beer, wines, designer mocktails, and the crowd-favorite craft cocktails made with locally distilled spirits from American Craft Whiskey Distillery.

Hosted outdoors at the beautiful & historic Yokayo Ranch, the evening also includes live music, and a silent auction.

Early Bird Tickets: $100 ($125 after 6/1/20)–includes all food & beverages. We expect to sell out, but if tickets are available at the door they will be $150. Courtesy note: no dogs or other pets, please.

Onsite lodging is available at Yokayo Ranch for the night of the event. However camping spots are extremely limited so place your reservation via Brown Paper Tickets today before they are gone.

Click Here To Purchase Tickets

Eat Well. Do Good.

Event proceeds directly support our Farm Grant Program that provide crucial funding for infrastructure development projects on local farms, and helps support the EBT/Food Stamp Match program to ensure access to healthy food for all members of our community.

Our event sponsors’ generous support is humbling. Their help and encouragement ensures that the funds raised through ticket sales, silent auctions, etc. goes to funding our important work. Thank you.

Good Farm Fund benefit raises $40,000 for local farm grants

By Kate B. Maxwell, Mendocino Voice  | August 12, 2019

The crowd contributed another $10,000 in a real-time crowdfunding event

MENDOCINO Co., 8/12/19 — Just as one small farm can provide food for many people, but it takes a community to support our small farms — and that community came out in their finest summer outfits at this year’s Good Farm Fund summer banquet. Thanks to a generous $10,000 matching grant from the Redwood Credit Union and an outpouring of community support, the fifth annual Midsummer’s Night Feast, held at Yokayo Ranch, raised a record amount of nearly $40,000 in one night towards their small farm grants, while providing a bounty of delicious farm-to-fork dishes prepared by local chefs. 

Happy farmers and chefs serving up food to the crowd.

The Good Farm Fund is a non-profit organization which supports the development of a sustainable local “foodshed” (like a watershed) in Mendocino and Lake Counties, primarily through the annual farm grants, and by increasing access for local food through financial support for the CalFresh “market match” program. The organization has awarded nearly 50 grants since 2015, and this year’s dinner, which more than doubled the fundraising amount from 2018, should ensure an even larger amount of grant funding for this upcoming round of awards, which will open in the fall. The organization also holds an annual winter feast fundraiser, set this year for December 10, as well as the third annual Mendocino Homebrew Festival, happening November 2.

The enthusiasm for small farms and community building was palpable at the July dinner, where attendees took a break from enjoying a multitude of locally produced goodies to run around in a “real-time crowdfunding” event led by local auctioneer Rachel Britton, and raised donations from a number of individuals, from $10 to $1,000, to match the $10,000 contribution from the Redwood Credit Union. The credit union, along with Frey Vineyards and Sonoma Clean Power, is one of the Good Farm Fund’s “Foundation Sponsors,” who provide dedicated support for local farm grants. Redwood Credit Union’s Community Programs Manager Peggy Cleary announced the matching grant at the dinner, noting that supporting local farm was a perfect fit for the credit union movement, which was first started to help local farmers.

Emcee Rachel Britton raises her hands in delight as Redwood Credit Union’s Peggy Cleary announces a $10,000 matching grant.

“We’re thrilled to be here because we really believe in the mission of the Good Farm Fund,” Cleary told the crowd, calling the organization’s accomplishments impressive. He continued, “One of the things we love about the Good Farm Fund is that it started as farmers coming together to help farmers.”

He added that the the 70 year old credit union has the same goal, “It’s part of our mission, we’re about people helping people. We’re part of these communities, we care about what you do, and we invest in organizations that really make an impact on critical issues facing our communities. Food security is really important to us, and we’re just so delighted and really honored to partner with you.”

The dinner itself was a living example of community involvement, including more than 20 different local farms paired with local chefs, coordinated by more than 32 volunteers who helped with organization, parking, set-up, and more, as well as a variety of local sponsors from local businesses and community organizations, all contributing towards a community feast. Guests enjoyed sampling a wide array of different dishes created by local chefs, paired with local farmers, as well as refreshments ranging from kombucha to coffee to locally distilled liquors, and many lingered as the sun set to ensure all the treats were eaten before heading home.

Local farmer Alex Nielson of Cinnamon bear Farms spoke about how his three grants have helped him grow his business.

Alex Nielson, of Cinnamon Bear Farms, a three time grant recipient and local farmer, gave a brief speech about how important the grants have been for his farm: “The Good Farm Fund has been instrumental for our farm…having us backed by the community, it’s been amazing. They’ve provided us tools that have helped us grow, and provide more food for the community. It’s amazing to see all the faces, and see a lot of people that I see at the market, coming up and tasting our food, and thanking us, it’s really a blessing to see. This is a business that’s not easy to move up in, and having the capital backing from the Good Farm Fund has been immense….without it, we wouldn’t be here right now.”

More photos of the event are included below. You can learn more about the Good Farm Fund’s work at their website, and the next round of small farm grants will open in the fall. The organization’s next events are the annual Mendocino Homebrew Festival, on November 2, and you can check out a video for interested brewers here, and the winter feast, scheduled for December 10.

Over $100,000 in farm grants to Mendocino and Lake county farms have been given out.

Good Farm Fund presents the Inaugural Mendocino County Homebrew Fest! November 4, 2017 | Ukiah

We have partnered with Visit Mendocino County and our beer geek friends to introduce an exciting new event, the Inaugural Mendocino County Homebrew Festival!  This new addition to the Mendocino Mushroom, Wine and Beer Festival is set for November 4th, 2017 at the Ukiah Valley Conference Center.

The afternoon will feature brewers from several clubs in Lake and Mendocino Counties and also from around Northern CA competing to become the people’s choice winner.  The event is also open to ciders, mead and other fermented beverages including kombucha & jun. Local Farm-to-table food will be available for purchase.

The festival will include both a People’s Choice award and Brewer’s Choice panel winner.

All proceeds go to support Good Farm Fund, which makes fresh local food available to lower income community members by funding the SNAP/food stamp Market Match program at farmers markets and provides strategic economic development grants to Lake and Mendocino County small farms. Farm to table food provided by the Mendocino College Culinary Arts Program will be available for purchase.

Get all the details at the >> Mendocino County Home Brew Fest website.

If you are a home brewer, >> sign up now to be in the competition. If you know someone who makes great beer, encourage them to get signed up! Deadline for entry is October 4th.

If you like beer and fun >> get your tickets here.

If you would like an opportunity to promote your business by joining our >> fine cast of sponsors  email us at goodfarmfund@gmail.com to find out about our sponsorship packages.

EVENT SPONSORS:

Ukiah Brewing Company, The Big Chief of Laytonville, Visit Mendocino, Westside Renaissance Market, Saucy, Beer Belly Fermentation Supply, Riley’s Cab (which will be providing attendees with free cab service within a 10 mile radius of the event), KWINE, KMAX and KZYX