Common Roots Farm
October 2019
Let the building begin!
Architect's rendering of the some of the Janie Whiteford, President Board of Directors

We are excited to share an announcement from Coastal Haven Families, LLC, that construction has begun on the new Coastal Haven pocket neighborhood! As our future neighbors, Coastal Haven residents will have convenient access to public farm events, volunteer opportunities, gardening and environmental education, and, of course, we hope many will be regular customers at our farm stand.

As many of our farm’s supporters know, Coastal Haven is the work of a group of families who came together four years ago to purchase nearly seven acres within the City of Santa Cruz. Our working farm leases approximately four acres for our food and flower production. The families’ vision for this unique project includes creating a pocket neighborhood of nine new homes and a common garage/studio apartment, where people with and without developmental disabilities can live flourishing lives together.

Pocket neighborhoods have been popularized by architect Ross Chapin ( as an approach to housing design that emphasizes relationship building and social interactions without compromising private space. Parking is near homes, but the neighborhood focuses on pedestrians, not cars. Founder Philippe Habib notes the new homes are designed for aging in place and include porches at grade level, accessible shared bathrooms, private bedrooms, and energy-efficient features. For more information about Coastal Haven Families, please visit

We congratulate these families on their vision and dedication to creating one solution to the growing housing crisis in our community.
Every body farms
Jenny smiling for the camera.Rallying our farm team around creating a much more functional Seed to Salad teaching area on our farm, our inclusion specialist, Jenny, put together our first Go Fund Me campaign. Our Board is so pleased to endorse her efforts, and we thank her talented friends, Jess and Colin, who visited Common Roots and then created a beautiful video explaining Jenny’s passion for inclusive farming. This campaign offers supporters a chance to help us make our unique, inclusive farm more accessible so, as Jenny says, “every body farms!”

Since there is now construction equipment on site to build the pocket neighborhood, we think it’s a good time to undertake this project here on the farm. We invite you to take a few minutes to view Jenny’s video and learn a bit more about inclusive farming. And, if you are so moved, please share our story to help us reach our end of year fundraising goal of $50,000. As our generous donors and supporters know, we have built our farm with the contributions, time and talents of many wonderful people. Your support will go toward funding accessibility projects at the farm, and we are asking for help to raise the first $25,000 by October 31st. If we can beat the rain, we can install the hardscape needed to enable us to continue building throughout the winter and be ready for Every Body to farm in Spring, 2020!

Click this link to read Jenny’s story.
Farm stand in the neighborhood
Floral bouquets ready for the farm stand.
Three varieties of beans ready for the farm stand.
Yellow cherry tomatoes and strawberries in boxes.
Red and orange lunchbox peppers.
A family prepares the farm stand for our Jennifer Wilkins

Every Saturday morning, from June through September, we have our CRF farm stand, where friends, supporters, neighbors, and passers-by can buy our freshly picked produce and flowers. All of our farm stand sales crew are families with special-needs young adults, and they have a wonderful range of things to say about the experience.

Some, like Bev, talk about the experience of offering the beautiful flowers and produce: “We were proud to offer our amazing flowers and produce. Some folks know to come early to get the eggs. Other people passing by were really pleased to be able to buy our organically-grown goods.” From Philippe and his son Noah: “My favorite moment was some people who pulled up and bought a basket of tomatoes and drove off, then returned five minutes later because they were so good they ate them all in the car and wanted a couple more baskets to bring home.”

Including our young adult children in the process is a huge part of what makes this experience so meaningful. From Fran: “Scott really enjoyed and took great pride in his job to set up farm stand!” For Cristina, Betty the golf cart was the highlight: “Justin enjoys helping load and unload Betty when setting up the farm stand — and especially enjoys the ride from the cooler to the stand!” For my son Jake, the best part was having a picnic in the shade and sharing everything he brought with our friends and neighbors.

For others, the gratification of meeting our neighbors and supporters as we hang out at the farm stand is a defining aspect. Pauline says, “I loved that Ryan and I had fun meeting people in the community and telling our story, all while selling the best produce and flowers this side of the Rockies.” From Fred: “Working the farm stand is a family affair. We enjoy meeting our neighbors and learning more about our community. Great produce and great families.”

As we close out the farm stand season, we think back in gratitude for the opportunity to be involved in an enterprise that includes our young adults, builds community, and offers healthy food and fresh flowers to our friends and neighbors. As Mable puts it, “So wonderful to offer a variety of absolutely delicious produce and beautiful flowers and to meet our community supporters.”
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