Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture + CODE GIVE656

If you have ever experienced the great delight of attending the incomparable San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, you may have already had the good fortune of witnessing an in-market educational talk or cooking demonstration in person. You may not yet know, however, that those informative and delightful offerings -- along with the entire farmers market itself -- are organized and produced by the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture (CUESA). It’s true. They are.

Photos care of CUESA and Gary Yost Photography

Question: Do you like eating, growing, or making food? If you answered “yes” to any part of that question, the CUESA is more than likely benefitting your life in ways you might not even realize. Even if you don’t live anywhere near San Francisco, odds are that one or more of CUESA’s educational programs is having a trickling effect on your community. And trickling effects are powerful. Just ask the rocks that get shaped by water that gently but persistently flows over them.

Photos care of CUESA and Amanda Lynn Photography

Maggie Spicer began shifting her engagement with CUESA from one who solely benefits from CUESA’s work to one who contributes to its work 14 years ago ago. She began volunteering in CUESA’s kitchen on Saturday mornings during the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and today remains a dedicated and passionate volunteer serving in multiple ways, including helping to organize the nonprofit organization’s two major annual fundraising events. “The more convivial of the two, Summer Bash, is held every June,” Maggie shares, “while the elegant Sunday Supper is held in October.”

Photos care of CUESA and Amanda Lynn Photography

CUESA celebrated its 25th anniversary last year, having been founded in 1994 to educate urbanites in better understanding where their food comes from and how powerful their consumer choices are, as well as to create links between those urbanites and local farmers who engage in sustainable agricultural practices. Because the San Francisco Bay Area is the 12th largest metropolitan area in the U.S., increasing awareness of sustainable agriculture among those who live and work in the area is a powerful act that can lead to a shift not only in the thinking of the community but also in the health of its individuals, families, ecosystems, local farmers’ businesses, and ultimately the world.

Maggie says, “CUESA is incredible because it helps children and adults alike to learn more about sourcing and consuming good food, which contributes to a healthy food ecosystem, through its farmers markets, cooking demonstrations, farm tours, and youth programs like Foodwise Kids and Foodwise Teens. By good food, I’m referring to food that’s grown, farmed, and ranched with a focus on honoring environmental stewardship, paying fair wages to its team, and abstaining from the use of pesticides and monocropping in its practices. It also focuses on wage equity, food access, and more, through its new initiative, The Food Change.” For those of us who eat, grow, or make food -- hey wait: that’s all of us! -- the profound work that CUESA does matters. Support their work each and every time you shop PLAE by using checkout code GIVE656 to easily, quickly, and without cost to you donate 10% of your purchase price to CUESA. You can also find them on Facebook and Instagram.