Research and Projects

The “California’s Golden Brew” project is engaged in several local, regional, and national research efforts. We have developed an interdisciplinary and trans-institutional team of growers, private and public educators, USDA scientists, and private sector with extensive direct experience in part or all aspects of the proposed work. Several of the team members are directly involved in education and outreach activities and the team reflects the connection between producers-extension-research-industry, which is indispensable to promote innovative sustainable endeavors.

Ongoing Projects

Arthur Vining Davis Foundation grant 

PROJECT TITLE: California Grown Coffee: A Program to Explore the Environmental Impact and Sustainability of a New Agricultural Crop within the Context of a Liberal Arts Education

Whittier College has been awarded a $300,000 grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, which will help propel the growth of the campus’ sustainable coffee orchard and provide research and internship opportunities for students. The proposed interdisciplinary Program will engage Whittier College faculty and students in the investigation of the ecological, environmental, and socioeconomic relevance of coffee and avocado intercropping, a new and fast-growing agricultural practice within the California economy. The long-term, overarching goal of this Program is to develop a deeper understanding of the integrated multi-functionality of productive farmland, often located at the fringe of urban development in southern California, where high cropland cash rates compete with sustainable land use.

“California Grown” Documentary (See Trailer HERE) 

“California Grown,” provides an immersive experience for viewers. The structure and style of the documentary relies on a narrative arc propelled by the story of agricultural pioneering entrepreneurs within Southern California’s crowded foodscape.Our documentary explores this movement through the lives and voices of its practitioners. Like California’s diverse population, the farmers employing this method represent a wide array of cultural, economic, educational, and historical backgrounds.

Our project strives to create an authentic film that is at once approachable but edgy; rich in color and sound but also clean; regional in its context yet global in its implication. “California Grown”is in the tradition of successful PBS-style documentaries such as “Food Forward,” introducing the public broadcasting audience to a new world of possibilities, where pioneers and visionaries are creating viable alternatives to the pressing social and environmental impacts of our industrial food system. “California Grown” encompasses a range of organizational and representational strategies.

Our documentary captures these sometimes-competing voices that reflect the unique history and future of the state whose mantra can be seen on billboards everywhere: “California Grown.”

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