What We Do

The BGFF advances a healthy, integrated food system by educating, connecting and supporting food producers and consumers. That’s our mission.

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


We educate, connect and support food producers and consumers about local, sustainably produced food.


Because when people are educated and informed about an issue—like local, sustainable food—they tend to make different choices. Relationship building around the issue then helps create virtuous circles. And supporting and enabling positive behavior change deepens and reinforces the impact.

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.
And one advanced one—
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.


We run a variety of inspiring and rewarding, thoughtful and fun 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 thought-provoking series of multidisciplinary panels present varying viewpoints on sustainable food-related topics, such as wise water use, aquaculture and local fisheries maintenance, food waste and healthy soil. UCTV videotapes the panel discussions, distributing the broadcast through its networks. Watch video of the latest panel discussion, Soil Matters: Climate Change’s Hottest Topic, listen to the preview podcast on 760 KFMB, or read the re-cap and key takeaways on our blog.

Berry Good Food Academy. Led by BGFF Ranch Coordinator Jack Ford of Taj Farms, these hands-on classes include cheese-making and canning, preserving and cooking—old-world skills that gain modern relevance as students learn to use local, seasonal ingredients efficiently and minimize food waste. Empowering people to maximize their food budgets is an important part of changing food-buying and preparation behavior. Plus, making your own cheese is a blast! Scholarships and volunteer opportunities are available and free classes are offered to farmers and members of the food industry. To attend, please contact Jack Ford at .

School Pilot Program. On This project, BGFF is working with local, national and international organizations with expertise in curriculum development and educational models, including long-established local nonprofit Olivewood Gardens, and will support a heavily impacted school with an outdoor science classroom in an existing community garden. We’ll be creating a four-part curriculum pilot that will include modules in planting, gardening and composting; harvesting, cooking and preserving; nutrition; and environmental impact.

Connect – Building Relationships

Farm Dinners. The original Berry Good Night dinner is an invite-only event designed to promote dialogue and cross-pollination between some of the best minds in sustainable food, drawn from a wide variety of disciplines including science and medicine, agriculture, government and public policy, hospitality, education and media. By 2017, we will be bringing Berry Good Night to local farms—urban and rural—around San Diego county, low-cost and open-to-the-public, and designed to keep widening the circle of influence and discussion. Stay tuned!

Support – Reinforcing Positive Change

Berry Good Night for the Foundation. Be a part of the movement! On March 18, Berry Good Night and BGFF’s founder Michelle Lerach and her husband Bill host the first annual Berry Good Night for the Foundation, an exclusive fundraiser to support our ongoing initiatives and program development, plus scholarships for the Berry Good Food Academy classes.

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