Who We Are
Local Ecology and Agriculture Fremont (LEAF) is a nonprofit volunteer organization focused on environmental education and regenerative agriculture. Our goal is to inspire our community to grow their own food and foster a connection with nature through immersive, hands-on experiences in our gardens. We operate from three unique gardens: LEAF Stone Garden, LEAF Center and Urban Garden. Each garden is a dynamic, living classroom with individual focuses on regenerative agriculture, innovative and experimental agricultural techniques, and community building.
We offer a range of programs for all ages and abilities, including classes and site visits. We also provide volunteer opportunities for anyone wanting to help us nurture our gardens and work on our projects.
For the past 10 years, our main goal has been to provide produce grown with regenerative agriculture practices to those in need around Alameda County. Regenerative practices focus on building healthy soil using lots and lots of compost, crop rotations to reduce the build up of plant diseases, cover crops to increase soil nutrition, interplanting edibles with pollinator herbs and flowers to increase pollination and to create a more balanced natural ecosystem and healthier plants.
Additionally, we encourage our surrounding residential community to glean their trees. We donate their fruits along with fruits grown in our own garden to the food banks.
Every Monday and Thursday mornings we harvest produce fresh from our gardens, and deliver it directly to two local food banks: Tri-City Volunteers Food Bank in Fremont and Centro De Servicios in Union City.
LEAF was founded in 2008 by a group of Fremont residents under the leadership of Bruce Cates. Together, they had the vision of creating a community garden in the California Nursery Historical Park in Fremont's historic Niles district. LEAF negotiated a lease for half an acre of land with the City of Fremont while raising funds to design and build the community garden. In the meantime, LEAF started a community garden in a vacant lot in downtown Niles and began offering gardening workshops to the public.
In late 2014, LEAF secured a second site when Dr. Chris Stone offered a free, long term lease for a half acre of land behind her Mission Valley Veterinary Clinic. This site was named LEAF C.R. Stone Garden after Dr. Stone's father.
Stone Garden is run by a dedicated group of volunteers who work year round to grow food using regenerative agriculture practices to donate fresh, sustainably grown produce to our local food banks. In 2022, Stone Garden became a USDA recognized People's Garden.