This small herd of cows at Pasturebird supports rotational grazing for chickens. Image: Maria Hesse.

You’ve heard the buzzword sustainable. At Edible San Diego, we’ve certainly been talking about it for years. Over time, it’s become clear that the natural systems that enable us to grow food (soil, air, water, and local communities of plants and animals) have seen more and more damage, so we must go beyond sustaining the status quo to actually repair them.

Opinions differ, but if we look at agriculture as an opportunity to not only address climate change, but to support healthy people and healthy natural systems... well, then we’re really on to something good.

Wendell Berry has called people who dedicate their lives to producing food in ways suited to a particular place “craftsmen of the highest order.” As eaters, our future looks brighter if it’s filled with diverse farmers and ranchers using old and new ways to work with nature.

Hero image: What was once potato fields is now a lush space for native grasses that feed Pasturebird's chickens. Through biomimicry, agriculture can help to restore nutrients in the soil, which in kind brings added benefits like moisture retention and carbon sequestration. The most incredible thing about it is what you don't smell. Image: Maria Hesse.

Notable Farmers Using Regenerative Agricultural Practices in San Diego County*

Agrarian Craft Urban Farm - Carlsbad

Agua Dulce Farm - South Bay

Coastal Roots Farm - Encinitas

The Ecology Center - Encinitas/San Juan Capistrano

Enjoy the Farm - Valley Center/Encinitas

Indian Summer Farm - Escondido

Jared's Real Food - Lakeside

Pasturebird - Oak Grove

Perennial Pastures Ranch- Santa Ysabel

Primal Pastures - Murrieta

Rio Del Rey Heirloom Beans - San Luis Rey River

Sage Hill Ranch Gardens - Escondido

Sand n’ Straw Farm - Vista 

Solidarity Farm - Pauma Valley

Terra Madre Gardens - Escondido

Wild Willow Farm & Education Center - South Bay  

*This growing list was compiled with help from, an Encinitas-based nonprofit advancing awareness, education, and economy in an effort to increase regenerative farming practices.

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Edible San Diego Issue 65 Spring 2022 Full Circle
Cover image courtesy of Deborah Small.
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