A Thank You For...

cherryTom Burchell of Burchell Nursery personally delivers 850 cherry, apricot, nectarine and peach trees to Richmond residents in honor of Cesar Chavez.  Burchell Nursery (March, 2014)

awardThe Strong Foundation for Environmental Values, awards Self-Sustaining Communities a grant. (March, 2014)

altThe Lifchitz Family Foundation for their donation for social justice in Richmond, California.

altTerroir Seeds, Cornucopia Seeds, Redwood Seeds, Bountiful Gardens, and SmartSeedStore for the donation of surplus 2013 seeds (January and February 2014)

treeDave Wilson Nursery donates 500 plum, cherry, apricot, Asian pear and peach trees for the Martin Luther King, Jr., Day of Service in Richmond, CA.  (Jan. 2014))

awardBill Graham Supporting Foundation, awards Self-Sustaining Communities a supporting grant. (December, 2013)

cherryDuarte Trees and Vines donates 300 citrus and fruit trees (October, 2013) for residents in Richmond, CA.

cherryTom Burchell of Burchell Nursery does it again by making a donation of 320 pomegranate trees, olive trees and blueberry bushes specifically for the North Richmond Green Festival.  Burchell Nursery (October, 2013)

cherryTom Burchell of Burchell Nursery personally appears to make a donation of and distribute 800 peach, nectarine, cherry, apricot, apple, pear and plum trees to Richmond.  Burchell Nursery (March, 2013)

treeDave Wilson Nursery donates 210 fruit trees and the City of Richmond staff pick them up and distribute them.  (Feb. 2013)

awardPiton Engineering for their donation and support.  (January, 2013)

awardBill Graham Supporting Foundation, awards Self-Sustaining Communities a supporting grant. (December, 2012)

awardThe Rose Foundation, Environmental Grassroots Fund, awards Self-Sustaining Communities a Watershed protection grant and an Environmental Grassroots grants.  (November and December, 2012).

cherryDuarte Trees and Vines donates 250 bluberry bushes, raspberry canes and table grape vines (November, 2012) for residents in Richmond, CA.

tree McEvoy Ranch donates 1,000 Tuscan olive trees for Richmond residents. (September, 2012) and an additional 1,000 in October of 2012.

Thanks to the El Cerrito United Methodist Church for including in their ministry plan a partnership with Self-Sustaining Communities.

cherry Pro-Tree Nurseries donates 1,308 Apple and Cherry trees. (April, 2012)

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The Self directs the functioning of the whole psyche in an integrated way. According to Carl Jung, conscious and unconscious are not necessarily in opposition to one another, but complement one another to form a totality, which is the Self.
(Excerpt from Personality and Personal Growth 6th ed. Frager & Fadiman, 2005)


Our aim is toward entirely sustainable urban environments.  Thanks to Neli Maneva and Stas Manev for this rendering of our goal, prepared as a display for the Martin Luther King, Jr., Day of Service, January 20, 2014.

Self-Sustaining Communities (SSC) is a Richmond, CA, organization working with low-income residents and community members to create wide-scale, environmentally sustainable local food production in distressed and needy neighborhoods. These projects have engaged a wide spectrum of the community, from the mayor to recently released offenders, in a "from-the-ground-up process" to reclaim and rejuvenate abandoned and blighted parcels and make them hubs of productivity.

Watch the video below to understand what we do. Watch more videos at our youtube channel.

An interview by Councilwoman Jovanka Beckles, of Linda Schneider of Self-Sustaining Communities.

Watch more videos at our youtube channel.

.By Chris Treadway
Contra Costa Times
Updated: 09/22/2012 04:45:22 AM PDT

The greening of Richmond took another step and another shade -- as in olive green -- on Friday.

A donation of 1,000 olive trees from McEvoy Ranch, a prestigious Petaluma-based organic olive grower and olive oil producer, arrived for initial distribution to the community.

Trees were given out starting at noon at the farmers market at 24th Street and Barrett Avenue, where representatives of the ranch and city officials joined Linda Schneider, founder of the group that arranged the donation.

"We are truly becoming a city of fruit-bearing trees to further our healthy Richmond direction," said Mayor Gayle McLaughlin, who attended the distribution event. "Trees are known to improve air quality, beautify our community and even help reduce crime."

While McLaughlin was speaking Friday, the space shuttle Endeavour flew overhead, prompting gasps from onlookers. A pleased McLaughlin said the two events -- trees and space shuttle -- added up to a spotlight day for the city.

The donation was coordinated by Self-sustaining Communities, a community organization that originated in El Cerrito and is now based in Richmond. It tries to direct donations to underserved neighborhoods in the East Bay.

Over the past three years, the organization has negotiated donations of more than 10,000 fruit, nut and olive trees from California growers to help low-income areas provide for themselves.

What’s the buzz? Urban beekeeping comes to Richmond

The bees from Self-Sustaining Communities come and go from their hive on a warm February morning. (photo by: Lexi Pandell)

By: Lexi Pandell | February 27, 2012 – 3:13 pm

Just over a year ago, an oasis blossomed in a rundown Richmond neighborhood off of Highway 580. Cars speed by on the busy freeway overhead and the Safeway Beverage packing plant, large and industrial, looms within eyesight. But here at the Self-Sustaining Communities garden, chickens peck at nubs of grass, a pair of rabbits dart in and out of their burrow, and, if you listen closely, you might hear a faint buzz. Thousands of bees flit between the nearby plants and their wooden, man-made hive in the middle of the property. Clumps of bright orange pollen cling to the bees’ swollen legs and the insects quickly disappear inside the hive, preparing to make honey from the nectar they collected.

Our Commitment

Our work/mission is to assist in creating a systemic change in the SF East Bay of Northern California which meets environmental, social, and sustainability needs by addressing those areas upon which survival is dependent, specifically food, energy, transportation, shelter and social inclusion.  We focus on low-income, high crime areas, but are not necessarily limited thereto.  We approach these areas as part of an integrated larger area where coming together to make a systemic change can effect greater well-being for all members of the community.

Given the collapse and dysfunction of the current economic situation, the unemployment, environmental issues and crime, creating a new model is an opportunity we have at hand, by utilizing grassroot efforts, community building and social technology, among others.