Field Trip Fun & Good News for 20 Farms

When I walked into the kitchen last Thursday morning, I found my wife, Julie, packing at a furious pace. She was filling a 64-ounce bottle with ice water, chopping apples and strawberries, and bagging up pretzels and saltines. Those snacks were for a very important trip: She was one of the chaperones on our second-grade son’s field trip to Pie Ranch in Pescadero, California.

Field Trip Fun

Kids at Pie Ranch
My son’s class on a field trip to Pie Ranch

Pie Ranch is a regenerative farm and education center about 55 miles south of San Francisco. Its farmers have led education programs for Bay Area youth since 2005, and now they serve over 1,000 kids per year. Our son’s class was lucky enough to experience Pie Ranch firsthand. They tended the chickens, did a scavenger hunt to match leaves to their plants, and, of course, made pies.

Pie Ranch is an awesome local treasure—educating not only children but other farmers and community members as well. It also happens to be one of The FruitGuys Community Fund’s 2024 grant recipients.

Kid sitting on the Pie Ranch sign
My son sitting on the Pie Ranch sign

Good News for 20 Farms

The FruitGuys Community Fund (TFGCF) is our fiscally sponsored 501c3 nonprofit that gives out grants to small farms and agricultural nonprofits for sustainability projects. Since its inception in 2012, TFGCF has awarded over $575,000 in grants to 143 small farms across the country. This year’s class is the largest yet! In 2024, TFGCF awarded a total of $85,328 in funding to twenty farms spanning sixteen states and US territories. The majority of them are women-owned/led (85%), BIPOC-owned/led (70%), and/or beginner farmers (60%).

Meet the Farmers

I’m excited that TFGCF is supporting Pie Ranch this year, along with nineteen other farms with a wide range of sustainability projects. Here’s a quick look at two of them:

Kids helping plant in the garden
YouthWorks Ranch

YouthWorks is a 20-acre agricultural nonprofit in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that teaches young people about food and farming. Their $5,000 grant will go toward culturally relevant seeds, hand tools, a drip irrigation system, soil amendments, and a post-harvest wash station for the teaching garden.

Products from Mountain Echoes Farm/Soil Hued Mojo
Products from Mountain Echoes Farm/
Soil Hued Mojo

Mountain Echoes Farm/Soil Hued Mojo in Mathias, West Virginia, grows medicinal maternal health herbs for their community. Their $3,097 grant will help them install two beehives, add a hoop house to extend their growing season, and purchase a solar dehydrator that will reduce energy use and crop waste.

You can find a full list of TFGCF’s 2024 grant recipients in this blog.

I’m really proud of the work that TFGCF does. For 12 years, our grants have helped small for-profit and nonprofit farms across the country operate more sustainably. The grants are small, but they make a big impact on the farms and their communities. If you’d like to learn more about TFGCF and/or help support our work by donating or volunteering on the review committee, you can get the details here.

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