Funded! This project was successfully funded on January 11, 2012.

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We need to a build a greenhouse—it would enhance our urban agriculture course offerings and make us more self-sufficient

About our farm

Seeds was formed in June 2008 through a partnership between San Diego City College and San Diego Roots Sustainable Food Project. Since its inception, Seeds@City––an approximately 1-acre farm on the City College campus––has offered apprenticeships three times yearly, and the student demand has consistently been beyond our capacity. The farm provides students with hands-on experiences necessary for learning the skills of urban farming and is the first of its kind at an institution of higher education in San Diego County.  

Our new Sustainable Urban Agriculture academic program builds on the three-year success of Seeds @ City and is a model program for sustainable agriculture academic programs in higher education. We have developed and are now offering an Associate degree in Sustainable Urban Agriculture as well as certificate programs in Urban Farming, Urban Gardening, Organic Gardening for the Culinary Arts, Introductory Ecological Landscaping, and Advanced Ecological Landscaping. 

About this project

A perennial issue for programs such as ours has been the state of California's increasing inability to extend funding to crucial educational ventures.  Ironically, this funding deficit occurs at a time when interest in our programs is greater than ever.  Furthermore, Seeds @ City Urban Farm serves a frequently neglected, under-served community (urban, ethnic, economically diverse) for whom the health benefits of organic farming are vitally needed.

Shoots greenhouse would go a long way toward putting the farm on a more stable financial footing because it would enable us to grow and sell starts, as well as expand and enhance our current CSA (community supported agriculture) program.

A greenhouse would have additional educational benefits for our program as well.  Over the past year, we have only been able to offer four courses supporting these programs, as state budget cuts prevent us from offering more than the equivalent of two courses per semester.  At the current rate of course offerings, it will be difficult for students to finish their educational path in sustainable urban agriculture without waiting several years for the needed classes to be offered.  The majority of these programs are designed to be completed within a year or less.

A greenhouse will allow us to support the only sustainable urban agriculture collegiate program in San Diego County.  Prior to Seeds @ City, young people were forced to leave the county, and southern California, if they wanted academic training in sustainable urban agriculture.

A fence is needed to protect the farm from vandalism. We plan to turn the fence into a work of art itself. We'll partner with the art department to design ceramic veggies to place on the fence posts. Also, the space between fence posts will serve as display area for our resident farmer artists' works.

Project Timeline

As soon as we have the greenhouse in place, we will work quickly to begin producing plant starts, the sale of which will help fund further farm operations.  What are "starts"?  Starts are very young plants that we have grown organically and brought along in our greenhouse, that are ready for transplantation to gardens in the community.  We plan to offer starts that are not only organic, but that are tailored to the existing weather conditions in San Diego county.  In time, we hope to develop a CSA program for people to subscribe to and receive seasonal starts from us quarterly.  These revenue streams will go a very long way toward putting the farm on a solid financial footing—something that in the current educational funding climate is absolutely critical if Seeds is to continue its work in educating and transforming San Diego into a food-secure community.

An additional benefit is that the greenhouse should enable us also to begin quickly improving our CSA offerings.  Because of the improved facilities a greenhouse represents, we hope to see improved CSA offerings, resulting in increased revenue in the CSA program within three months of the greenhouse's construction.

The farm has informal agreements in place with both the campus cafeteria and a number of local restaurants, to begin supplying produce in the future.  Because of a lack of facilities, it is impossible at this point to meet these needs and increase revenue.  A greenhouse is crucial in the development of these other forms of outreach (and revenue) in the community.  Perhaps nothing would raise awareness more on campus than the farm providing food to the cafeteria in which hundreds of City College students eat every day.  As soon as the farm has a reliable facility to organize and grow more produce (particularly greens), we can formalize agreements with both the cafeteria and restaurants eager for our organic, locally produced crops.


Course offerings centered on the greenhouse (such as AGRI 112 Organic Greenhouse Management) will have to wait until Fall 2012 due to the usual constraints of collegiate planning.  However, the presence of the greenhouse will be used in current course offerings and our apprenticeship program as soon as it is available, thus enhancing course content in classes already established in our sustainable urban agriculture programs. 

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  • Pledge $10 or more
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    40 backers

    One packet of local seeds from crops lovingly grown at Seeds @ City Urban Farm!

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  • Pledge $25 or more
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    41 backers

    If not in San Diego: 2 seeds packet; If in San Diego: a jar of pickled veggies

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  • Pledge $50 or more
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    28 backers

    If not in San Diego: 3 packets of seeds or a hand-printed art-block seeds T-shirt; If in San Diego: A tour of the farm, or 2 jars of pickled veggies

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  • Pledge $100 or more
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    18 backers

    If not in San Diego: 4 seed packets or a hand-printed art block T-shirt; If in San Diego: A tour of the farm and a jar of pickled veggies, hot sauce, or a packet of seeds

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  • Pledge $250 or more
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    7 backers

    If not in San Diego: 1 bundle of seed packets and a hand-printed linoleum block T-shirt; If in San Diego: A tour of the farm, 2 jars of our pickled veggies and a jar of our hot sauce

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  • Pledge $500 or more
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    4 backers

    If not in San Diego: 1 bundle of seed packets and a hand-printed linoleum block T-shirt and canvas tote bag; If in San Diego: A tour of the farm, 3 seed packets, 3 jars of our pickled veggies and a jar of our hot sauce

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    0 backers

    (San Diego county only) Your choice of one of the following workshops at your house: we will teach a fruit tree pruning workshop for you and 8 friends, a canning workshop for seasonal fruits and vegetables, a cultured foods workshop (cheeses, ginger ale, kraut, kimchi, etc), or a culinary mushroom propagation workshop.

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  • Pledge $750 or more
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    1 backer

    (San Diego County Only) Our farmers and students will install a 10x10' garden at your home, which would include organic compost, organically grown plant starts and seeds installed by Seeds@City farmers and apprentices. (We prefer to replace thirsty lawns with teeming veggie gardens!)

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  • Pledge $1,000 or more
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    0 backers

    If not in San Diego: 2 bundles of seed packets, a hand-printed linoleum block T-shirt and a selection of pickled vegetables, canned preserves, jellies and jams, and hot sauce. If local to San Diego County: organic dinner for you and 10 friends at the farm (or at your house) grown and prepared by urban farmer, Paul Maschka, farm apprentices, and culinary students from San Diego Community College District. Dinner will include a selection of homemade sparkling ginger ales.

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  • Pledge $2,000 or more
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    1 backer

    (San Diego County only) Our farmers and students will install a custom 30 x 30' garden at your home, which would include organic compost, organically grown plant starts and seeds installed by Seeds@City farmers and apprentices. (We'd really like to replace your lawn with a teeming vegetable garden!)

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  • Pledge $3,500 or more
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    0 backers

    (San Diego County only) Private dinner for you and ten friends with the farmers and farm apprentices at one of our local farm-to-table restaurants featuring Seeds@City produce.

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    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    We will engrave a plaque with your name on it as a benefactor for our new greenhouse. We will also name either the greenhouse or our orchard (your choice) after you.

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Funding period

- (30 days)