Irvine’s Farm + Food Lab is Pioneering The Future Of Urban Farming

Sitting on just under two acres of land within the Orange County Great Park, the Farm + Food Lab is a non-profit farm which is operated by city of Irvine and the Solutions for Urban Agriculture. The Farm + Food Lab is a zero-waste, carbon-free micro-farm, pioneering innovative urban farming practices in Orange County.

In addition to growing crops for the Second Harvest Food Bank, the Farm + Food Lab provides hands-on micro-farming education for the public and uses a concept known as regenerative organic farming to produce all different types of agriculture.

The Farm + Food Lab complex is divided into two sides, the Alegría Farms component, which maintains a half-acre of space next to the full-acre Farm + Food Lab component.


The statistics for chronic illness worldwide are going through the roof. Degenerative diseases are cropping up in younger and younger people and, at this point, nearly half of all Americans suffer from at least one chronic disease. On top of this, Covid-19 emerged and has us all thinking about our health. Now we all want to know how to boost our immune systems and get healthy. The problem is that the primary degenerative diseases are directly connected to malnutrition and toxins we take in by eating toxic foods, drinking toxic water and breathing toxic air. We released 84,000 synthetic new chemicals into the air in 2020 alone, and we’ve depleted our soil of vital microbes, bacteria and fungi by spraying chemicals and over farming. Okay, so now that we’ve contaminated our earth and our bodies are suffering, are we screwed? Sounds grim, doesn’t it


Food to Fuel Is the Future at Island Biofarm

The zero-waste regenerative farm demonstrates what can be done to defend against climate change.

Concern for the climate is woven into much of the fabric of everyday island life. Residents of Vashon often organize grassroots activism, lobbying legislators and raising awareness about what individuals can do to effect change.

Many of the leaders of the battle against Glacier Northwest’s expansion plans on Maury Island more than a decade ago went on to work with The Vashon Nature Center, the Vashon-Maury Island Land Trust, and Zero Waste Vashon, among the local organizations that examine how islanders can learn to appreciate nature, protect its resources and wildlife, and live sustainably on the land.

Salad Days

Buying boxes of incredible organic greens grow in the Second Harvest Food Bank parking lot helps fund programs to feed the hungry.

Some of the best produce ever grown in Orange County is thriving in a parking lot next to the railroad tracks in Irvine. Some 20 varieties of organic and nutrient-rich leafy greens are harvested each Friday from impeccably organized and maintained planting beds.

Shiny, fresh and fragrant Romaine and red leaf lettuce, Tuscan kale, Swiss chard, lemon sorrel, purple basil, lavender, edible flowers, and more are placed beautifully into boxes and delivered directly to homes and available for pick-up that same day.

A Story of Solutions

In a race against the end of farmable soil, three individuals fight for change in the industry of agricultural food production, calling for a revolution.

“The Need to GROW” delivers alarming evidence on the importance of healthy soil — revealing not only the potential of localized food production working with nature, but our opportunity as individuals to help regenerate our planet’s dying soils and participate in the restoration of the Earth.

The Need to GROW Documentary Captures the Root of Agriculture’s Problem

Following the interconnected stories of three unique individuals, The Need to GROW documentary aims to explore some of the deeply-rooted issues in agriculture. The film highlights agriculture’s impacts on people and the planet, as well as some human-driven solutions working towards food system change.

Faced with the new challenge of being a father, Director Ryan Wirick seeks to understand the nature of problems and find solutions that may help future generations. Collaborating with activist and director Rob Herring, they sought to create The Need to GROW. Accompanied by Executive Producer and Narrator Rosario Dawson, Directors Herring and Wirick set out to discover how we can feed the world without destroying the planet.