Main Street Project


Sustainable Food System Organizations in California

I was part of a food hub peer learning group, organized by the Wallace Center, that recently toured a number of sites in and around San Francisco, CA.

unnamedThe first stop on our tour was Veritable Vegetable, a 40 year old organic vegetable distribution company, organized as a “B” corporation, that focuses on connecting small farmers with markets in CA, AZ, NM, and Southern Colorado. Here our host, Nicole Mason (in blue) explains how trucks are routed to both deliver and pick up produce on each trip for maximum efficiency.

According to their website, “VV envisions a sustainable food system that recognizes the true costs associated with growing and moving food from farm to table: farmers have access to land and receive fair payment for their labor; workers throughout the value chain are treated equitably; food is moved with minimal impact to the environment; and all people have equal access to fresh, healthy foods.”

unnamed-1Nancy Vail and Jered Lawson own and operate Pie Ranch, an agroecology training and education center near San Francisco, CA. We visited the farm as part of a food hub peer learning program organized by the Wallace Center.

Stated on Pie Ranch’s strategic plan, “Pie Ranch is a nonprofit organization and organic production farm with a mission to cultivate a healthy and just food system from see to table through food education, farmer training, and regional partnerships. It is our goal to change the food system and grow healthy, resilient communities through sustainable agriculture, education, advocacy, and training.”




Free-range chickens in an orchard at Pie Ranch in Pescadero, CA