Cultivating Community North Valley is a partnership of organizations working to strengthen our community through local food.
Our partnership allows us to plan strategically, share resources and collaborate to offer educational opportunities, consulting services, and targeted resources that increase local food system participation and capacity.
CCNV programs and services are designed to increase local food system participation amongst students, small-scale farmers, and under-served populations in the North Valley.
Our programs and services are Chico-based, with select educational and consulting services offered throughout Butte County.
We offer assistance for EBT technology to farmers’ markets throughout Butte, Glenn, Yuba and Tehama counties.
Our founding partners are representatives from the following organizations:
The Chico State College of Agriculture
Growing Resourcefully, Uniting Bellies (GRUB) Education Program and their community garden consulting program, GRUB Supported Community Gardens
The Center for Nutrition and Activity Promotion’s community resource project, OPT for Healthy Living
Collaboratively Creating Health Access Opportunities & Services (CCHAOS)
GRUB Education Program
The Growing Resourcefully, Uniting Bellies, or GRUB Education Program, is a nonprofit organization that offers workshops and other services to educate people about growing their own food. Their core programs focus on adult and youth education, community gardening, and composting. GRUB strives to promote social responsibility through community building, lifestyle choices and sustainable agriculture. The GRUB Supported Community Garden’s team works to get gardeners set up with an environment in which to grow their own food and collaborate to learn more on their own.
cChaos, which stands for Collaboratively Creating Health Access Opportunities and Services, is a nonprofit organization directed by former farmer and community activist, Richard Roth. cChaos promotes nutrition, exercise, and health for under-served communities, and provides consultation to improve nutrition and lifestyle choices, and increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables in under-served neighborhoods.
The Organic Vegetable Project is a student-run farmer training program at the Chico State University Farm that works to educate future farmers in sustainable ways of growing food. The OVP hosts farmers markets to increase produce availability to the college community, and provides food for the Associated Students Food Services. The OVP grows on a 3-acre certified organic plot which is in production year-round. The OVP team conducts variety trials to find which vegetable varieties grow well in the Chico area. OVP produce is served seasonally on campus through the Associated Students Food Services, and sold weekly on campus.
The Center for Nutrition & Activity Promotion is a community action and educational non-profit at Chico State University working to create healthy and livable communities in 17 northern California counties. CNAP provides the infrastructure and coordination of shared resources for interdisciplinary student-faculty-staff research and opportunities for civic engagement and service learning in nutrition education, food security, and physical activity programs as well as policy development.
Cultivating Community’s Goals
Strengthen Local Food Security
Increase community education and direct participation in our local farm-to-fork food webs
Collaborate with local organizations devoted to food security, with community service-learners, and with experts in organic growing, edible city building, and fresh food preparation
Link local growers, under-resourced populations, and help-agencies in a collective effort
Promote Local, Healthy Use of Nutritional Assistance Funds
Provide technical assistance to farmers markets and Community-Supported Agriculture businesses (CSAs) in becoming EBT-enabled (i.e., to accept CalFresh cards)
Provide a variety of incentive events and activities to bring CalFresh/EBT recipients to farmers markets and CSAs
Support Community Gardens
Help expand existing community gardens, and start new ones
Enliven derelict and unused urban properties
Support Small Farmers
Provide outreach to new and young farmers
Assist small farmers markets serving low-income growers and areas with up-front operational costs
Offer on-site instruction in high-yield, low-cost organic farming in urban and rural environments
Bring culinary exhibitions to urban farming workshops and to farmers markets to demonstrate low-cost, ethnically rich techniques to prepare and preserve produce
Support Lower-Income Residents
Creatively increase the availability of locally grown produce
Promote participation in Farmers’ Markets and CSAs
Provide nutritious food to those most in need
Decrease isolation associated with economic stress
The History of Cultivating Community North Valley
Cultivating Community North Valley was imagined in 2010 to increase collaboration between projects building food system infrastructure in the Chico area. The four organizations involved in that initial discussion were The Chico State College of Agriculture, GRUB Education Program, OPT for Healthy Living, and cChaos.
In 2011, the partnership was formed under the name of Cultivating Community North Valley upon receipt of a 2011 California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Specialty Crop Grant awarded to the Chico State Research Foundation, under the directorship of Dr. Lee Altier. The grant will last through June 2014.
Beginning in 2012, Cultivating Community North Valley formed a stakeholder coalition of farmers, educators, community organizations, and service agencies to identify and address the community’s nutritional needs. This stakeholder network increases communication and collaboration among players building this local food system.
As the partnership grew, Cultivating Community North Valley identified a subsequent need for more resources to mitigate the access barriers specific groups face to participation and capacity in the local food system. In 2012, CDFA awarded a second Specialty Crop Block Grant to a complementary program, Cultivating Community Advocates.
Cultivating Community North Valley’s partnership strengthens the complementary sub-projects providing education, consultation, networking, and targeted resources that increase food system participation and capacity among students, small and low-income farmers and under-served populations.