Pathways for Veterans is proud to announce a fund raising campaign in support of a National Healthy Living Project at their newest location in Danville, California. This unique San Francisco Bay Area location will provide veterans with disabilities access to hydroponic, aquaponics, and organic growing with today’s latest teaching technologies. Pathways believes in a comprehensive approach to Health Care where recreational activities, yoga, art, meditation and even gardening can improve the veteran’s overall well-being. The Pathways Victory Garden provides a means to release stress, relieve PTSD symptoms, participate in rehabilitation activities, while learning about healthy nutrition. Our Danville project will allow Bay Area veterans to experience firsthand horticulture education/therapy along with participating in other Pathways programs designed to heal the “wounds of war”.

Sunset Sustainable Farms is a one-acre nursery located in Danville, CA that is reinventing itself as a working farm through the use of aquaponic and organic growing techniques. It has 16,500 sq ft of covered greenhouse space, a small retail farm and nursery stand and is located on a major Bay Area freeway. It is adjacent to the retail and residential areas of numerous high net-worth communities as well as the greater San Francisco Bay Area. It’s location within 15 miles of both the Oakland and Concord VA Centers and within 5 miles of the Pathways training facilities in Castro Valley make it an excellent site to provide organic farming and aquaponics training to veterans.

Sunset Sustainable Farms is a 3rd generation nursery that was opened in Oakland by partner Judy Sandkuhle’s grandfather in 1906 after the San Francisco earthquake. It was expanded to Danville in 1923 and Judy’s father took over in the late 1930’s. Judy took over in 1985 and moved to it’s current location. She graded the land, built the greenhouses and has been running the business ever since. Judy has been involved in the industry her entire life, began here career working for her father, later received a BS degree in Ornamental Horticulture from UC Cal Poly, went on to run her father’s wholesale division for 10 years, then on to the nursery business for almost 30 years.

Partner Nick Ratto was first introduced to aquaponics 5 years ago. He immediately saw the efficiencies and societal benefits of developing these food growing systems. Prior to joining Sunset Sustainable Farms he had developed a business building backyard aquaponics systems, selling parts and accessories and holding training classes. His background includes the development and management of several residential/commercial window cleaning businesses, technical project management within the corporate tech industry and owner/operator of a yacht repair business. He has made numerous long distance sailing trips through Mexico and the Caribbean and participated in the 2008 Singlehanded Transpac sailboat race from California to Hawaii.

Sunset’s partners provide a unique set of experiences that would benefit veterans as they adjust to life outside of the military.