San Diego Roots Sustainable Food Project

Educating, cultivating and empowering sustainable food communities in San Diego County since 2008.

A California 501(c)3 educational nonprofit — TIN 26-2131406

Board of Directors

Jarrod Groves

Jarrod Groves is a recently retired Naval Officer who now works as a Data Science Program Manager.

He and his family are avid gardeners who were introduced to San Diego Roots as farming students at Wild Willow Farm & Education Center in 2014, which they attended to deepen their gardening knowledge.

After graduation from farm school, Jarrod started leading volunteers and became a member of the board in 2017. 

Originally from Sacramento, California, his family have lived in the Chula Vista and the South Bay area since 2012

Mel Lions

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, buying fresh produce and dairy products from long-gone vendors in downtown San Diego.

In 2000, when a farmer called his friends together to help fend 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.

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.

Richard Winkler

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.

The Organization

San Diego Roots Sustainable Food Project is a California non-profit corporation and a 501(c)3 tax-exempt educational charity. We were granted tax-exempt status on November 15, 2007.

As declared in our Articles of Incorporation, the specific purposes for which this corporation is organized are: to strengthen the local food landscape in the San Diego region; provide a local food network between the community and local farms; educate and demonstrate sustainable farming practices to support and grow San Diego’s local food economy; preserve local farms and farmers; and conserve associated wildlands.

Founded in 2005 and incorporated in 2007, we are governed by our volunteer Board of Directors under the guidance of the community we serve. Supporting Roots’ works are members of our educational staff and volunteers who operate the programs and carry the responsibilities of a grassroots non-profit organization.

TIN: 26-2131406
CA CORP. ID: 3053310

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