February 20, 2023

Healthy Food Is 'Pay-What-You-Can' at Coastal Roots Farm


Coastal Roots Farm is a nonprofit Jewish community farm and education center that seeks to create healthy and connected communities through sustainable agriculture, food justice, and ancient Jewish wisdom. To do so, Coastal Roots Farm supports and pursues four main initiatives: equitable food access, regenerative agriculture, environmental education, and Jewish life. However, it largely focuses on equitable food access, and has created several approaches to meet the needs of the community.

The “Pay-What-You-Can Farm Stand,” established in 2015, is a program that promotes the farm’s mission to ensure that community members of all identities and backgrounds have equitable access to local, fresh, organic foods. In 2022, it helped 33,303 individuals, with 67% utilizing the pay-what-you-can feature.

The sad reality is that one in four San Diegans is food insecure. Coastal Roots offers a range of certified organic and sustainably grown foods, such as vegetables, herbs, and fruits, all available to the public. The beauty of this farm stand is that it's "pay what you can." The way it works is that Coastal Roots Farm offers up to $30 worth of free produce, then people pay whatever they can afford through a private check-out system that accepts all types of payments. Most importantly, no one is turned away if they are unable to pay.

Here is what a few customers of the Pay-What-You-Can Farm Stand have told us:

  • “Coastal Roots Farm helps with access to fresh produce and educates customers on how to use and store it.
  • “The Pay-What-You-Can Farm Stand is very helpful to me, especially since I am a college student. Organic foods can be expensive and Coastal Roots helps me stay within my financial means.” 
  • “We come because we are happy to help support this important and generous program. It also sets a valuable, almost invaluable, example of community supporting each other!” 

Coastal Roots Farm’s Pay-What-You-Can Farm Stand is open every Sunday except holidays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Thursdays from noon to 3 p.m. at 441 Saxony Road in Encinitas. What’s more, this organization has a variety of events and programs, including garden workshops, live music and dance.

If you're interested in learning more about how you can get involved, visit Coastal Roots Farm at