As people are becoming more aware of both the dangers of pesticide use and the need for a more sustainable food system, Pesticide Watch is proactively to help create healthier options for consumers and safe environments for farmworkers.
Pesticide Watch began "The California Food Project" in order to engage more with the local, organic, pesticide-free movements and lend our expertise as community organizers to support and strengthen the great local work being done to increase food security, food access, and reduce the use of pesticides.
Currently we are working on projects in Sacramento, Monterey Bay Area, San Francisco Bay Area, and more recently, the Central Valley. In the Bay Area Pesticide Watch helped start the "San Francisco Urban Agriculture Alliance" (SFUAA), a new coalition of groups and individuals engaged in urban agriculture working to increase the amount of food grown within San Francisco, and promote greater access to and consumption of that food through advocacy, education, and grassroots action. Currently, SFUAA is working on a campaign to change the agricultural zoning codes to make urban agriculture more viable and less cost prohibitive.
In Sacramento, Pesticide Watch has partnered with the community-based group Environment and Agriculture Taskforce (EAT) Sacramento. Pesticide Watch helped the group address their concerns about laws prohibiting chicken-keeping and front-yard gardens, as well as about their desire to convert brownfields into farms and community gardens. Already, EAT
Sacramento has gained the support of elected officials for several of their efforts, including legalizing urban chickens and allocating more funding for community gardens.
Promoting Sustainable Agriculture
Greening agriculture is an avenue out of the cycle of chemical control and pesticide-contaminated food and agricultural communities.The goals of greening agriculture are:
Community and Farmworker Health: Supporting and protecting integrity of small farms and health of farmers and farm workers. Promoting organic agriculture,green pest management, diverse farm ecosystems that are largely self sufficient and provide green jobs.
Greening pest control: Using pest management that supports the natural ecosystem, and abandoning pest eradication as a tool except in rare, extreme circumstances where public health is threatened
Greening soil management: Getting the synthetic fertilizers out of farming and supporting the use of non-synthetic soil amendments to produce healthy, microbially rich and productive soil
Greening nursery practices: Getting the chemicals out of our ornamentals and using organic growing practices.