Coastal Roots Farm launches apprenticeship program


Coastal Roots Farm announces the launch of its farm apprenticeship program, as well as the hiring of Simcha Schwartz, the Apprenticeship and Associate Program Director.

“We’re so proud to bring such a diverse and amazing group of young farmers to this community,” said Daron “Farmer D” Joffe, interim executive director of Coastal Roots Farm and director of agricultural innovation and development at Leichtag Foundation.

“These four individuals bring tremendous skill sets that we will develop. They will help us achieve our mission of producing nourishing food that’s good for the earth and for the people who eat it, as well as sharing our harvest with communities in the San Diego region (who) lack access to healthy food.”

Coastal Roots Farm is at the Leichtag Foundation property, 441 Saxony Road in Encinitas, and is part of the Encinitas Environmental Education (E3) Cluster.

This summer, it was announced that Coastal Roots Farm will manage the Encinitas Union School District’s Farm Lab production farm, which is next to the Leichtag Foundation property. The apprentices will be involved in many aspects of developing and managing both Coastal Roots Farm and the production fields at Farm Lab.

The yearlong pilot apprenticeship program will provide each apprentice with onsite housing, a living wage and professional development. While all apprentices will learn the basics of community farming, each will be focused on a specialization and will help to develop that aspect of the farm. The apprentices will help shape the future of Coastal Roots Farm as it expands its production, outreach and educational programming.

Coastal Roots Farm is an independent organization incubated by the Leichtag Foundation to help foster a vibrant, healthy North County and to address gaps in the local food system.

The Leichtag Foundation established Coastal Roots Farm in response to North County residents’ interest in sustainability and social justice, and because of the high number of low-income households lacking regular access to fresh, healthy food.

The apprenticeship specializations are:

Jamie Pratt, 27, San Diego — Educational & Programming Apprentice

Jean-Paul Riveria, 21, Puerto Rico — Food Forest & Nursery Apprentice

Eliza “Ellie” Honan, 24, Minnesota — Animal Husbandry & Composting Apprentice

Itai Siegel, 26, Israel — Vegetable Production Apprentice