In early September the WorkerAnts team visited Uncommon Good in Claremont, California. Since its inception in 2000, Founder and Executive Director Nancy Mintie has worked with the community to create an inspired and synergistic organization endeavoring to end the cycle of poverty and restore the health of the planet. In addition to offering a college mentoring program and a Medical Education Debt Relief program that brings health and wellness to underserved areas, Nancy Mintie and her organization, along with hundreds of dedicated community volunteers, have collaborated to incorporate green, sustainable architecture and urban farming with poverty alleviation. They have hand built the world's first Whole Earth Building - a pioneering effort that shows how affordable, carbon efficient, nice homes can be built by anyone, anywhere. Nancy Mintie was kind enough to give us tour of the solar powered earthen building and we were surprised at its elegance and functionality and the fact that the building prevented 382,051 lbs. of CO2 from entering the environment in little over a year! Learning more about the building's cooling system is reason enough to visit Uncommon Good in Claremont.
If exploring sustainable architecture does not inspire you, however, then go for their amazing fresh and delicious farm grown fruits and veggies. The Fiddleneck Family Farms project was formed through the vision of Uncommon Good and the will-power of the Urban Farmers Association (UFA), a group a parents whose children participate in Uncommon Good's education program. It began with UFA families providing farm space in their backyards and hiring, at a living wage, unemployed immigrants with farming expertise (whose children are also in the education program) to raise pesticide-free and chemical-free fruits and vegetables. Half of the produce goes to families in the UFA or other families in the community that cannot afford fresh fruits and vegetables and the other half is sold to cover expenses. The program now encompasses a working farm in Pomona, California, which also offers education programs and a horticultural therapy program.
Are you sad that you don't live close enough to go and buy their fresh produce? Don't despair, all is not lost. If you live in the Los Angeles area you can now order produce boxes from Uncommon Good through Good Eggs for delivery or pick-up. Just go to at www.goodeggs.com and search for Uncommon Good. Supporting this organization is a healthy and delicious way to do help others and the planet. Live elsewhere? Search the WorkerAnts.com database for "Farms" and you will find many sustainable food listing that might work for you. If you don't find it on our site, tell us about a non-profit you know so we can share it with others or support your local farmers market.