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Our Organization

San Diego Roots Sustainable Food Project is a California non-profit corporation and a 501(c)3 tax exempt educational charity. We are governed by our volunteer Board of Directors under the guidance of our community. Supporting Roots' work are members of our educational staff and a huge team of volunteers who help run our programs and carry the responsibility of running a grassroots non-profit organization.

TIN: 26-2131406
CA CORP. ID: 3053310

Mailing Address:
PO BOX 640, Imperial Beach, CA 91933


SD Roots is governed by our bylaws, initially adopted on December 4, 2007 and amended on January 10, 2010. To download a current version of this document, click here.

Meet the Roots Board of Directors

Jarrod Groves, President

Jarrod's bio will go here.

Adam Hiner, Vice President

Adam grew up in Virginia where he got his first introduction to local organic food via his father's garden. Moving to California solidified his passion for fresh, local, organic foods. After 3 years in San Diego, he turned his passion into his career, launching Eco Caters in 2007, a local organic catering company.

After 4 years in catering, Adam co-founded Local Habit, a restaurant in Hillcrest, also serving all local organic food made from scratch and California craft beer. You can see Adam's enthusiasm for organic food in everything he does. If you visit his house in Ocean Beach you will find a front and backyard garden filled with organic produce, compost piles and chickens.

Richard Winkler, Director VGSD

Richard is co-director of Victory Gardens San Diego (VGSD), sharing the throne with Bob Greenamyer, the Founding Director. VGSD helps people start growing their own food and is a program of SD Roots Sustainable Food Project.

Richard is a Master Gardener (class of 2010) and a Master Composter. He grows vegetables in PB and lives in a house built in 1929 by his wife's great grandfather. Prior to relocating to SD he worked in NYC in animation and TV production. He co-founded Curious Pictures, where he supervised development and production.

An embassy brat who grew up in Africa, Europe and the Middle East, Richard went to St. Stephen's School in Rome and then Dartmouth College graduating with a BA in Anthropology.

Mel Lions, Secretary/Treasurer

San Diego was a much different place when his family moved to the area in 1959. Growing up in South Bay, Mel remembers farms and dairies in Imperial Beach, Chula Vista and Mission Valley; his family was eating the best locally sourced dairy products and produce, but in 1960s San Diego this was the norm, not the exception. In the '70s Mel went into the restaurant business and bought fresh produce and dairy products from vendors in downtown San Diego. But a transformation was underway, resulting in the loss of our local food system.

In 2000, when a farmer called his friends together to help fending off developers wanting to make another suburb of his farm, as a graphic designer he thought he could help by making flyers. The farm was not saved, largely because of public indifference. The failure spurred the group to re-form as a committee to educate the public about the importance of supporting local farmers and the fresh, healthy food they grow. This was the beginning of what has become San Diego Roots Sustainable Food Project, for which Mel volunteers nearly full time working to educate a new generation of local farmers and food eaters, and to bring back and celebrate the culture of local food in our region.

In 2014, Mel was voted Cox Conserves Hero Volunteer of the Year for San Diego County in recognition of his longstanding volunteer service on behalf of San Diego Roots and Wild Willow Farm. Created in partnership with The Trust for Public Land, Cox Conserves Heroes recognizes local environmental volunteers and makes donations to local nonprofits on their behalf, which resulted in a $10,000 donation to Wild Willow Farm.

Angie Vorhies

Angie is a poet, photographer, and founding member of San Diego Roots. She loves living in North Park with her three daughters and eating out of her front-yard vegetable garden. Her interest in providing the freshest, most-nutritious food for her young family led her to The Good Faith Organic Farm. Working there helped her understand the connection between eating well, good health, and taking care of the land. When that farm was threatened with development, she decided to take a stand and work to save the farm. The community of people who joined her became San Diego Roots. 

Angie is inspired by the food culture of Italy. While living and traveling there, she has learned much about the value of traditional and regional food. An avid cook, she shops at farmer's markets in San Diego, because not only does she find the best things to eat there, but every week she gets to reconnect with the many chefs, farmers, neighbors and friends that share her passion for great, local food.