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Causes We Support

Family Farmers

Family Farmers


We are delighted to support family farmers.They are the true husbandmen of their soil,plants and animals and the life blood of organic agriculture in California.

At Living Tree Community we have been buying almonds from California family farmers since 1979. More than any documentation,more any certificate, established business relations, spanning decades, based upon a handshake,a smile and a look in the eye are surely the best assurance. We refuse to give this up. We refuse to deal with an anonymous, multinational conglomerate in Europe.We refuse to participate in “outsourcing” American almond growers!

The city of Fresno in California is in the heart of the almond growing region. Unemployment there is a shocking 17%.(the national average is 8.5%). In the nearby town of Mendota, 35 miles to the west, nearly half the people there are unemployed! The situation conjures images from the Great Depression and the Grapes of Wrath with farm workers idled as farm land goes fallow. This is a national disgrace! We have got to support California family farmers!

Organic Athlete

Organic Athlete

sportFounded in 2003, Organic Athlete unites people in a global effort to create a better world through sport. Our mission is to promote health and ecological stewardship among athletes of all ages and abilities by sharing information, building community and inspiring through athletic example.

oalogoMost people assume that you can’t be an athlete and be vegan, but through example and education Organic Athlete spreads the message about the benefits of a whole food, plant-based diet. In 2007, look for the Organic Athlete elite cycling team, a team of elite vegan athletes.

Harvest Fest'

Hoes Down Harvest Festival 2009



Hetch Hetchy

Hetch Hetchy Restored

Hetch Hetchy Restored. Thursday, May 1st, 2014 we held a celebration. We came together to celebrate an epochal moment in the history of this nation,namely the restoration of Hetch Hetchy. Maybe not tomorrow or the day after, but I see it coming. It will mark a turning point in the Life and spirit of this land. Here are some remarks I made:-

Situated inside Yosemite National Park, Hetch Hetchy Valley runs parallel to Yosemite Valley. It is a few miles to the north. It was said have been more beautiful.

It was described by John Muir as “one of nature’s rarest and most precious mountain temples.” The pristine Tuolumne River flowed along the valley floor boarded by flowering meadows and ancient forests which teemed with bears, bobcats,deer and eagles. Indeed, Hetch Hetchy Valley was considered one of the most unique and diverse ecosystems in the world.

Initially protected by the establishment of Yosemite National Park, in 1913 the city of San Francisco won congressional approval to build O’Shaughnessy Dam. This extraordinary wilderness valley was submerged under 300 feet of water.

The spokesmen of “progress and precision” asked, “Isn’t one Yosemite enough? Why do you need two?”. Quite right. After all, “if you’ve seen one redwood you’ve seen them all”.
It is my pleasure to introduce James Cogan, wilderness historian and master storyteller

Jim came to California in 1962. He visited Yosemite after reading John Muir. He was converted forever to following in his footsteps. He became a Yosemite Park naturalist in 1972 .Upon visiting Hetch Hetchy, he was enthralled that there were two Yosemites.

One day as I was leafing through the Wall Street Journal I was much taken by an eloquent article in the Op-ed section. It inveighed about the way California was embarking on an enormously costly project to build a high speed rail system without first securing the necessary funding. They seem to be thinking that once they got started it would be deemed too big to fail and somehow the state would come up with the extra bucks.The taxpayer would ultimately bail them out.The author pointed out that history seemed to be repeating itself – the Hetch Hetchy dam project was financed on the same makeshift,dishonest basis.

I wrote to the author and invited him to come to Berkeley. He graciously assented.
The fight to preserve Hetch Hetchy was John Muir’s last struggle.Some say that when the battle was lost he died of a broken heart.
Jim is here to tell that story and by doing so will become a small part of the growing movement to complete John Muir’s work.


I thank you, Jim, for a most compelling and insightful presentation.

I would like to share a thought, namely that we have arrived at a time when anything you can imagine, you can do. Allow me to give an example.Just down the freeway in the Richmond Marina is a National Historic Park devoted to Rosie the Riveter. It was a long,marshy mudflat when Henry Kaiser first beheld it in March 1941.There they built a shipyard.They started making ships.They called them “Liberty ships” they were essential to the war effort. It took 253 days to make the first one. By the 10th ship they got this down to 154 days.Then 80 days .Within a year the Kaiser shipyard launched a Liberty ship in the astonishing time of 4days,15 and one half hours. That’s right, a 13,000 ton ship in 4 days!

Is there anything you can not do? You who have created the internet,you who have created the iPhone.

Surely we have arrived at a juncture in human history where anything you can imagine,you can do.

One day Hetch Hetchy dam will be dismantled. This is nothing wonderful- over 160 dams in the US have been dismantled.

One day the Valley will be restored. How do I know? Abraham Lincoln prophesied it when he said,”… this nation, under G-d, shall have a new birth of freedom”.

With the restoration of Hetch Hetchy America will have taken a first step toward becoming a garden for the human spirit.

John Muir

John Muir


“Dam Hetch Hetchy! As well dam for water-tanks the people’s cathedrals and churches, for no holier temple has ever been consecrated by the heart of man.”

With these stirring words, John Muir rallied the nation in defense of Yosemite National Park’s Hetch Hetchy Valley, the place he called “a grand landscape garden, one of Nature’s rarest and most precious mountain temples.”

Despite Muir’s best efforts and his lejohnmuirading a fierce nationwide debate, Congress passed the Raker Act in 1913 allowing the City of San Francisco to construct a dam and reservoir on the Tuolumne River in Yosemite National Park’s Hetch Hetchy Valley. The O’Shaughnessy Dam was completed in 1923 and, after the necessary pipelines and power houses were completed, San Francisco began using water from the reservoir for its water supply and electrical power generation.

Mention Hetch Hetchy Valley to visitors to Yosemite National Park and their response is immediate: a heartfelt feeling of deep sadness for what has been lost, and a fervent hope that what has been lost can somehow be regained — for Park visitors, for the people of the United States, for the people of the world, for the plants and animals, and for the glorious granite walls and booming waterfalls of Hetch Hetchy Valley.

Fortunately, a very active movement is in place to restore Hetch Hetchy Valley. Nationwide media attention has been focuses on Hetch Hetchy with coverage on the Jim Lehrer News Hour, New York Times, Boston Globe, and TIME magazine, and statewide coverage on television and print media in California. Sacramento Bee editor Tom Philp was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his series of editorials supporting Hetch Hetchy’s restoration.

It’s time to imagine Hetch Hetchy restored

US Olympics

US Olympics

In the town of Bled, Slovenia, Ursula and Abby raced to the front! They won gold medals. A long step towards qualifying for the 2012 Olympics.

Please view the magnificent video

It has been our privilege to show them our support with our foods. Here’s what they say: –


Buffalo People

Buffalo People

buffalo1Last week Mike Mease and Josh Osher of The Buffalo Field Campaign arrived in Berkeley. They are on a west coast tour to call to peoples’ attention the latest atrocity that the state of Montana is about to inflict on the buffalo. It was our privilege to present them with Living Tree Olive Oil, olives and nut butters.

America’s last wild buffalo are soon to be become victims of “sport” hunters. That’s right, the state is going to issue licenses to crazies permitting them to shoot buffalo migrating from Yellowstone National Park onto their traditional habitat in Montana.

buffaloBuffalo are accustomed to millions of tourists and are not afraid of people. They will not give “fair chase” like deer and elk. Gun-bearers will be able to walk right up to a buffalo and blast it with a high powered rifle right at the Park border. Shooting a buffalo is about as sporting as shooting a parked car. The only time buffalo flee from humans is when the Montana Department of Livestock chases them with snowmobiles, helicopters, and horses.

The Buffalo People have been campaigning for years to bring to national and world attention the plight of the buffalo. In winter they go out before dawn, often at temperatures 50 below zero, to bear witness to the destruction of our heritage.