Our vision is to “Build 25” regenerative organic agriculture (ROA) farms in Silicon Valley by 2025. With ROA farms at the center of ecovillages in Santa Clara County, surrounded by native grasslands and oak woodlands, we have created a model for urban land use that will solve our global climate crisis and provide food security and sovereignty for all our residents. We believe that Santa Clara County leadership can affect a global change in current agriculture practices.
Globally, Santa Clara County recognizes the urgent need to transition from an unsustainable chemically dependent farming model to an ecologically driven one that utilizes natural processes to sustain human populations while protecting ecosystems services. In simple terms, Regenerative Organic Agriculture allows nature to do the heavy lifting and delivers abundant, healthy food while restoring nature.
By combining efforts with local stakeholder groups, Santa Clara County can affect a global change in current agriculture practices. We can build 25 regenerative organic farms that will serve as world model training and research centers in Santa Clara County by 2024.
This valley can lead in creating a model of innovation that can stabilize world economies by demonstrating that any community, whether rich or poor, can eliminate food insecurity and establish local food sovereignty while training youth, contributing to healthier communities and building new sustainable jobs, locally.
The Middlebrook Center with our ecovillage partners has developed a three-tiered approach to the “BUILD 25” initiative. We are convinced that if humans are to replace our broken food system, the ideal place to begin is Santa Clara County, USA.
1. We have created a Steering Committee model of local stakeholders who, by working together, can reach our goals. Our Steering Committee is represented by the following stakeholders:
• Community Organizations
• Urban and Peri-Urban Farmers
• Technical Committee of ROA Specialists
• Middlebrook Center Ecovillage Leaders
• Local Nonprofits
2. Establishing RAFT (Regenerative Agriculture Farm Training): Simultaneously, as we are designing and building farms, we will work with University Partners, local community organizations and nonprofits to develop training, degree and certificate programs for their students and constituents, utilizing the farms as outdoor learning laboratories, while providing student labor for farm management.
3. Establishing SULRI (Sustainable Urban Land use Research Institute): Working with university partners, grantors, other nonprofits and our technical committee members, we will collaborate with leading scientists to set up research projects at three farm models that will provide data and findings comparing ROA to existing farm models (agro/petro chemical and organic) in categories such as: CO2 emissions, carbon sequestration, soil organic content, water use, ground water contamination, number of natural pollinators, methods and efficacy of insect control, measuring nutrition content of foods, income and expenses, students graduated, jobs created, people served, health benefits of people who eat food grown at local farms, costs of medical expenses, individual mental health surveys of users, etc. Students will assist in data collections, observations, and will work with scientists to fulfill course requirements and share findings.
Working together, in a few short years, Santa Clara County will have achieved a land use model, a training program, and science-based evidence that may contribute to climate stabilization, reduced costs, greater human health and well-being, enhanced protection of ecosystem services, new sustainable jobs and significant supporting data to persuade communities worldwide to adopt these models.
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