PLATINUM2024

Farm Discovery at Live Earth

food, farming, nature, community

aka Live Earth Farm Discovery Program   |   Freedom, CA   |  https://farmdiscovery.org

Mission

Empowering youth and families to regenerate health: food, farming, nature and community.

Ruling year info

2009

Director

Jessica Ridgeway

Main address

P.O. Box 3490

Freedom, CA 95019 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Live Earth Farm Discovery Program

EIN

26-3728160

NTEE code info

Agricultural Programs (K20)

Educational Services and Schools - Other (B90)

Agricultural, Youth Development (O52)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

We are disconnected from our food system from nature and from each other. When we connect we regenerate health: personal, environmental, food system and community.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Farm Tours

Our farm tours offer a variety of hands-on learning experiences for school (and other) groups.  We emphasize a "seed to mouth" or "field to fork" full circle understanding of food production.  We strive to share an ethic of environmental stewardship, which is exemplified in organic farming practices. Farm Tour activities vary according to season and are tailored to students' age group
incorporating California Science Content Standards. 

Possible activities for your group include seed planting and plant propagation, interactions with and care for farm animals, composting, organic pest control, harvesting
and tasting, as well as an exploration of how and why things are grown organically.  We welcome input from teachers on how to integrate field trip activities with their students' curricula, and so will gladly customize your field trip to suit your needs.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Once a month we invite mothers, fathers, grandparents or caretakers of any kind to bring your babe in arms out to this organic farm.  We will spend an hour and a half exploring the farm's many treasures. 

Activities are seasonal and may include:
Feeding the chickens
Watching and petting the goats and kids
Sniffing flowers and herbs
Picking ripe fruits and vegetables
Exploring the education or permaculture gardens
Singing farm songs
Reading farm books

The goals of the Wee Ones & Small Farmers program is to simply give our babies a place and time to experience nature, to smell, see, taste, touch, and hear all this organic farm and its wild spaces has to offer.  In this way we will set the stage for our children to develop their own healthy relationships with nature and food.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers

The Montessori junior high program spends one school day a week on the farm.  The students rotate through three choices of work projects: Field Studies, Farm Economy and Health and Wellness.  In each work group students participate in a different aspect of farm life and business.  The Field Studies group maintains and youth garden, cares for the animals, harvests for the small school CSA, and participates in all seasonal farm work.  The Farm Economy Group administers the school CSA, learns marketing of both produce and value added products, and learns to make a variety of value added products by hand.  The Health and Wellness project focuses on creating nutritious meals from seasonal farm produce.  In this year long program students participate in all aspects of farm life from the bounty of harvest in fall, through the chilly, wet winter months and into the promises of spring.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents

Once a month (October – May) Farm Discovery hosts a group of curious homeschoolers and their equally curious parents.

Most often we begin with a visit to the chickens, where scrambling to hold hens makes for an amusing romp. After eggs have been collected and tasty morsels distributed, the group moves on to one of many possible activities. These might include milking the goats and harvesting lemons followed by a trip to the kitchen to make a quick version of goat cheese. Another day we might gingerly pluck copious quantities of snails from citrus trees, get a lesson in tree grafting from Farmer Tom, or plant seedlings who will make their start in the greenhouse. A drizzly outing could include a hike around the farm to observe the changes brought by winter, followed by a visit to our cow “Bella”.

Home School ProgramNo visit for our group would be complete without some time shared with Live Earth Farm’s beloved goat clan. Whether they are birthing, nursing or simply frolicking, our children love to observe the goat’s delightful antics. Each month, you are sure to leave dirtier, happier, and more informed about where our food comes from and how it is grown.

Population(s) Served
Families

Our youngest campers will explore the farm through the five senses, learning to love getting dirty, eating fresh picked produce, and playing with the farm animals. Parents who chose to join them will learn a lot and have a blast witnessing the excitement a farm offers.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Adults

At Farm to Table Camp, campers will spend the whole week learning about farming, food preparation and preservation through hands-on activities in our fields, Discovery Garden, and kitchen classroom. Kids who love food or never let a leafy green cross their lips will both enjoy exploring the processes of creating healthy and tasty meals beginning with a seed.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Throughout the week campers will explore the wonders of nature through farming and artistic expression. Activities may include printing from natural materials, musical instrument making, working in the education demonstration garden, cheese making, felting and so much more! Each day we will harvest something from the garden to contribute to our sustainable picnic lunches! We are limiting participation to 25 kids between the ages of 6 and 12, so sign up today!

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Students who attend this two night, three day farm experience will come away with a new respect for the land and those who farm it, a deeper connection to food, and a better understanding of their role in the local and global food system.
Students will learn about all the steps necessary to bring fresh produce to market. They will sow seeds, plant crops, cultivate fields and garden beds, harvest their own lunch, and tend some of the farm animals.

Sample topics of discussion:
The Local Food System
Food Choices, Nutrition, and the Consumers Role
The Farm as Community
The Farm as Environment/Nature
How does the Farmer Care for the Land and Soil?
How does the Farmer Care for the Workers?
How does the Farmer Care for the Animals?
What does Sustainable Mean? Organic? Natural?

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Weekly deliver of farm fresh, organic produce gleaned from Farmer's Markets and a CSA to 4 food pantry and meal programs serving seniors, foster, youth, veterans, farm workers and socio-economically disadvantaged community members.

Population(s) Served
Age groups
Ethnic and racial groups
Social and economic status
Work status and occupations

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of free participants on field trips

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Ethnic and racial groups, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Farm Tours

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We were booked to serve more than 600 participants before COVID-19 and pivoted to offer virtual, small cohort and distance learning support to over 1900 people, instead of of field trips.

Total number of fields trips

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Ethnic and racial groups, Age groups

Related Program

Farm Tours

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Due to COVID we did not offer school-based field trips and instead offered virtual field trips and opened the farm for 2 hours each to quarantine pods. We resumed in person field trips in fall 2021.

number of pounds of produce donated

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Ethnic and racial groups, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Produce

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

During COVID it became clear that fresh food access would be a community challenge. We stepped in to glean excess produce from CSA & farmers markets to redistribute to 4 food pantry & meal programs.

Number of program participant hours

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Multiracial people, People of Latin American descent, Families, Economically disadvantaged people, Children and youth

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Participant hours is the total time * by the number of participants in our programs. It is used as a way of comparing different programs. In 2020 we served fewer kids in more immersive experiences.

Number of students who receive scholarship funds and/or tuition assistance

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Ethnic and racial groups, Economically disadvantaged people

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

What we care about
We believe that we can transform personal and community health and improve our impact on earth by building and sustaining collaborative agricultural, ecological and social systems. We believe that communities armed with knowledge and the skills of inquiry can transform food, farming and natural systems for the better.

* Farm Discovery offers educational programs that inspire youth and families to transform their relationship to food, farming and nature.
* We steward our working farm and its wild spaces as an environmentally and economically viable piece of the food system and a learning space.
* We collaborate with community partners to learn from each other and extend our collective impact in the community.

Our excellent team is well equipped to offer dynamic, effective and empowering programs in several different formats to reach youth and families where they are to build and regenerate personal, environmental, community and food system health.

With our variety of programs, we can spend from three hours to a whole week engaging with food in the fields, animal pens and kitchen classroom, developing care for and a sense of wonder that leads to healthy behaviors.

Effective partnership is critical to the success of our approach; some of our key partners include the Pajaro Valley Unified School District, the California Regional Environmental Education Community, members of the Pajaro Valley Agriculture Education Collaborative, the Santa Cruz County Go For Health Collaborative and the Pajaro Valley Food, Farming and Health Policy Council.

*We have built our programs to serve 3036 youth and families a year.
*We can offer 40%+ of participants partial and full scholarships.
*We offer 9 different high quality programs that inspire youth and families to transform their relationship to food, farming and nature.
* We steward our working farm and its wild spaces as an environmentally and economically viable piece of the food system and a learning space.
* We collaborate with community partners to learn from each other and extend our collective impact in the community.
* We founded the Pajaro Valley Agriculture Education Collaborative and are founding members of the Pajaro Valley Food, Farming and Health Policy Council.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time, It is hard to come up with good questions to ask people

Financials

Farm Discovery at Live Earth
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Farm Discovery at Live Earth

Board of directors
as of 01/30/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Terry Sebastian

Steve Van Zandt

Banana Slug String Band

Larry Graff

Banana Slug String Band

Lisa Caras

Igneous Group

Terry Sebastian

Lake Pacific Partners

Luz Falcon-Toledo

Santa Cruz County Bank

Joshua Rodriguez

Community Hospital of Monterey Peninsula

Natasha Perry

Contractor - Apple

Matthew Kramer

Vegan Chef

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/20/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/20/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.