"Back in 2010 Carolyn Phinney learned three things that inspired her to create a community farm. First, she learned that the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano couldn’t get nutrient-dense leafy greens and other perishable produce. Second, she was told that Mount Diablo High School couldn’t offer a daily salad bar because salad costs $1 per day while pizza costs only 35 cents. Third was a key piece of information from Michael McGill, board president of the Central Contra Costa Sanitary District (CCCSD). McGill told Phinney that the District was discharging 50–200 million gallons [currently 30–50 million gallons] of treated wastewater daily into Suisun Bay. This water could go through additional treatment to become agricultural grade. In addition, McGill said that the District owned about 150 acres of buffer land, adding that “nobody wants to live near a sanitary district.”
“Why not let me grow salads for schools and the food bank?” Phinney asked. With McGill’s support, she started the CoCo San Sustainable Farm. She got fiscal sponsorship from Earth Island Institute and later formed the nonprofit AgLantis."
While we were negotiating the lease, Central San was adding six feet of clean fill to the property.
AgLantis 501c3 was founded and we signed a 10-year lease with Central San for 15 acres of land and all the Title 22 (agricultural grade) recycled water we could use for $1 per year. The recycled water is high in organic nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and micro nutrients.
We had our first summer camp this year. In September, Diablo Valley College Horticulture students planted the first crop under the direction of Professor Bethallyn Black. Two month later, we had our first harvest and donated to Food Bank in November.
We donated 12,000 pounds from 8 rows! We built our first greenhouse to be used for seedling propagation.
We have donated over 100,000 pounds of fresh produce to charity since 2018! Our second greenhouse is built and we are growing crops inside!
Our new greenhouse erected by Swinerton Builders.
100,000+ lbs donated!