Dear Friends,

The first of our winter crops have awakened the early green of the season to come and we have exciting news to share as we enter our 25th year as The Center for Urban Agriculture at Fairview Gardens. 

Together with our board president, Matt Buckmaster, I would like to introduce myself as the new executive director of Fairview Gardens. My name is Chris Melançon; I have roots in Santa Barbara and return to this region with a wide range of experience. From a degree at West Point, to a career in business and technology, to advanced studies in applied physics and engineering, to managing a farm in Sonoma, I have seen the world from many angles. I joined Fairview this past June as I believe I can bring all my knowledge and leadership to bear by planting seeds of hope and health here in the good land. Please join me in breathing new life into the farm by donating to our non-profit corporation today.

Our Vision

We envision a world where we are working with the environment in harmony, where knowing how our food is grown is common knowledge and being connected to nature is common practice.

As one of the oldest organic farms in California and a pioneer outpost of urban agriculture, Fairview Gardens Farm is here to Feed, Teach and Connect. We will be celebrating the farm’s 25th anniversary next year, and while this land has weathered many seasons and cycles, what remains clear is that regeneration is at the heart of our values, practices, and intentions. Local agriculture and education are as vital as ever to food security, climate resilience, and community building. Together we have a legacy to uphold and a future to nurture; we need your support as we care for the Earth.

Earth Care in Action

Our goal on the farm is to establish a closed loop system that gives more than it takes from the Earth. We believe we can achieve this goal by focusing on soil health, renewable energy sources, water conservation, and the humane treatment of animals. With a strong team, committed leadership and oversight, and a master plan for achieving our outcomes, we are well positioned to succeed. As a starting point, we need to raise $500,000 to address critical infrastructure improvements and fund the “Animals on the Farm” program expansion. 

Animals on the Farm

Livestock are an essential component of building healthy soil to support the ecosystem on a small-scale farm. Exposure to the life cycles of animals in our education offerings can also facilitate a deeper understanding of the circle of life. The Fairview herd currently consists of 1 alpaca, 1 dairy goat, 28 chickens and 2 ducks. With our target raise of $350,000 for the Animals on the Farm program, we will first establish the infrastructure required to expand, including perimeter fencing and gates, an earthen banked barn, corrals, and a milking parlor. Once the new facilities are in place, we expect the expanded farm herd to include: 

  • 4 dairy goats - 1 Nubian doe, 1 San Clemente Island doe, 2 Nigerian Dwarf does
  • 5 sheep - breeds to be determined
  • 4 Kunekune pigs - 1 boar, 1 barrow, 2 sows
  • 75 – 85 chickens - primarily laying breeds with some dual-purpose breeds

This year end outreach will provide the foundation for a more comprehensive Capital Campaign which we plan to launch in early 2022. Alongside the facilities improvements for the livestock, we must also address the needs of the humans on the farm. Raising $150,000 for infrastructure repairs will allow us to address facilities updates and upgrades, including the replacement of the staff kitchen with a multi-purpose mobile commissary. In alignment with our goal to Connect, we envision the renovated farmhouse as a gathering place for the community with a commercial kitchen available for emergency response in a disaster, as well as for educational activities and events.

We are grateful for your commitment to Fairview Gardens. As this land is forever protected, please know that your contribution will support the care of the Earth for generations to come.

We look forward to many more years of service to the community and abundant harvest.

Kindly, 

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Chris Melançon 

Executive Director

chris@fairviewgardens.org