A Thank You For...

alt Windy Flat RV, San Pablo, donates a trailer for the 2.2 acre farm.  (September, 2015).

treeDave Wilson Nursery donates 230 peach and nectarine trees for Richmond residents.  (February 2015). 

Bill Graham Supporting Foundation, awards Self-Sustaining Communities a supporting grant. (December, 2014)

         Robert J. and Lim Duca donate 2.2 acres in San Pablo (December, 2014)

cherryDuarte Trees and Vines donates 450 citrus and fruit trees (October, 2014) for residents in Richmond, CA.

altAnnie's Annuals for hundreds of vegetable starts for home, community gardens and urban farms in Richmond, CA.  2014

altNutiva partners with Self-Sustaining Communities to provide for organic gardens in the backyards of transitional homes of Bary Dugar for the formerly incarcerated and the homeless in Richmond, CA.  July, 2014.

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)

Read more ...


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)

.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.

McEvoy Ranch, which also donated trees in 2009, is making up to 3,000 trees available this time if there is demand and homes are found for Friday's batch.

"If we give them out successfully, we can get up to 3,000 total," Schneider said. "The city is giving out instructions that the olive grower has on its website that will help people care for the trees."

The self-pollinating trees will also be taken to community centers around Richmond to ensure a widespread distribution in the community.

The ranch is phasing out its nursery operation because of the poor economy and wants to use its stock to assist Richmond and other communities in need, said Samantha Dorsey, the operation's nursery and vineyard manager.

"The McEvoy family is committed to being active and thoughtful members of the community," she said, adding that the commitment includes a standing offer to mill harvested olives for free.

"Because processing facilities are few and far between, we thought it was important to extend that offer to Richmond residents," Dorsey said.

Schneider's organization, with support from the city, has established urban farms and other pilot projects in Richmond, including methods of building low-cost housing out of local, renewable materials.

"It's a lot of hard, continuous work, but it seems to work out well," she said.

Schneider said arrangements would be made to take olives to Petaluma when the time comes.

See also

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.