What We Do

BGF supports a local and regenerative food system in San Diego and Baja California with programs around food security and food education.

But it isn’t just about what we do, it’s about why we do it and how we do it.


Background

We empower our community by building bridges between farmers, chefs, scientists, and citizens to challenge the industrial food system while advocating for access to healthy food for all.

Why?

Because when people are educated and informed about an issue—like local, sustainable food—they tend to make different choices. Building relationships around issues helps create virtuous circles of community building and support.

To have a dialogue about the issues, we need a common language.

So let’s start with a few basic definitions—

Local: We define “local” in terms of proximity, plus shared geography and climate. Our local region extends from the northern reaches of San Diego County across the border to Baja.
Sustainability: The ability to continue a defined activity—in our case, food production—indefinitely.
Food system: The interaction between food production and distribution.
Regenerative agriculture: A sub-practice of organic farming designed to build soil health or to regenerate unhealthy soils. When applied to aquaculture, it means protecting the health and integrity of fisheries.

How?

We run a variety of inspiring, rewarding, and thoughtful programs and events designed to entertain and enlighten. Many also help us raise funds for our ongoing initiatives.

Education – Raising Awareness

Future Thought Leaders. Free and open to the public, this award-winning and thought-provoking series of multidisciplinary panels presents varying viewpoints on sustainability-related topics, such as food waste, seafood, the ethics of meat production, food justice, and healthy soil. University of California Television (UCTV) videotapes the panel discussions, distributing the broadcast through its networks, where our videos have a combined viewership of 15.5 million and counting. In 2024, we are proud to have our panels included in World Design Capital programming that spotlights the San Diego and Tijuana border region. Watch video and read recaps of all our panel discussions here.

Seeds for the Future. As part of our school garden grant program, which has awarded more than $90,000 to 36 schools since 2018, BGF has hosted 40 instructional hours in garden classrooms, organized 15 chef-led cooking classes serving 275 students, and installed 42 garden beds at 6 school campuses. BGF has also distributed hundreds of free copies of our signature bilingual photosynthesis workbook for elementary school students. Our annual party to raise funds for school grants, to be awarded in the fall, will be held August 18, 2024, at Julep Venue in San Diego. Reserve your ticket today and donate to the auction!

Berry Good Food Academy. Reimagined in 2024 after 30+ in-person classes were held with local chefs and artisans at Specialty Produce 2017-2020, the Academy’s new digital series highlights the importance of the farmer-chef connection, and how vital that relationship is to the health and sustainability of our local food economy. Join San Diego County farmers and chefs through each of the four growing seasons to see the behind-the-scenes journey of your favorite dishes around town. Watch our first episode.

Small Farm Emergency Relief Fund. Launched in 2024 after the devastating floods in January and February that contaminated the crops of many small-scale farms in the Tijuana River Valley and wiped out first-quarter profits, BGF raised more than $25,000 to award to qualifying farmers to help them get back on their feet, with weight given to those who distribute food to the most vulnerable members of our communities.

Connect – Building Relationships

By welcoming and gathering like minded partners at the table, we can Grow a Food Movement together.  A fundamental pillar of BGF’s mission is to collaborate with like-minded individuals and organizations in our community to build connection and create a stronger and healthier food system. Some of our most recent collaborations include working with Food Network Chef Carlos Anthony, the UCSD Craft Center, Kitchens for Good, San Diego senior centers OASIS and Golden Age Apartments, Little Shepherds/ROVER Bus, The Global Arc and Oceanview Growing Grounds, Whole Cities Foundation, World Design Capital 2024, and SCOOP San Diego.

Support – Reinforcing Positive Change

Community Strength. In 2023, BGF began presenting Local Food Leader awards on a quarterly basis to community members who are engaging and educating the public about eating locally and responsibly. Past recipients include San Diego Magazine‘s Troy and Claire Johnson, Chef Carlos Anthony, Culinary Arts teachers Jill Enright and Tonya Whitfield, fishmonger Tommy Gomes, regenerative rancher Ty Thompson, Chef Flor Franco, Chef Christine Rivera, and regenerative farmer Lily Murray, among many others.

We are actively recruiting and welcoming community advocates like you to help us Grow a Food Movement! Bring your skills and experience to the table by volunteering at our events, become an individual or corporate sponsor, reach out to your networks and invite food advocates into the fold, buy a table at our “Seeds for the Future” fundraiser and bring in new people to learn about our important programs, or show your support with a one-time or recurring donation.