Catholic workers’ co-op installing sustainable mini-farms on Peninsula and beyond

The grounds of St. Patrick’s Seminary & University boast row upon row of broccoli, Swiss chard, kale and strawberries this spring, products of a new parish Catholic workers cooperative created in a venture among the seminary, Guadalupe Associates and the parish of St. Francis of Assisi, East Palo Alto.

“I was actually surprised we yielded so much the first year,” said Sulpician Father Gladstone Stevens, rector of the seminary who along with San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone approved the use of seminary grounds to grow the crops as part of NanoFarms USA’s pilot project. The website is

NanoFarms’ primary product for sale is small, sustainable produce gardens installed for homeowners, with the option of ongoing maintenance by NanoFarms on a weekly or monthly basis, said Brendan Ford, NanoFarms manager. The cost for an installed 8-by-5 foot garden starts at $899. NanoFarms’ planned structure is to franchise to parish worker cooperatives – and the first one is the St. Francis of Assisi East Palo Alto co-op.

Read the full article at Catholic San Francisco


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