Sunday, June 10, 2012

Urban Farm Tour

Last Saturday June 9th was the East Bay Urban Farm Tour. We were excited to be a part of the tour.

There were many other wonderful urban farms on the tour and the only down side was that I was not able to go visit the other farms, but here is the map of the other locations. If you missed it this year make sure to go next year

We had a surprising turn out, about 400 people came to visit our farm

It was a beautiful warm summer day, the Algarden was at it's best, full of flowers and the trees heavy with ripening fruit

My favorite garden helpers, Muluk "the bee smoker" and Aya "the garden fairy" made strawberry lemonade from the garden for the visitors

We had lots of kids visiting the farm, foraging was only allowed for those under 12

 And forage they did, I don't think there was a berry left by the end of the day

The other favorite kid attraction was the tree house

Adults had fun too, we told the history of the site, the importance of sharing as a model, talked to them about permaculture and how we implemented those principles in the garden

We showed them our crops

 The shiitake mushroom production on oak tree logs

The compost pile and how to make one at home

Giancarlo explained how to make compost tea and the multiple benefits of it for soil and plant health

Yes, he is a total compost show off

They got to see the chickens

And the bees, who were also on their best behavior and no one got stung. We talked about the importance of bee keeping in the city to establish a closer connection with them and to encourage, 6000 bee keepers caring for one hive rather then the current situation which is the other way around

The tour through the Da Terra food forest (next door) was also really exciting. People got to see how a garden can look like after 10 years of caring. The also saw the relationship of a high tree canopy a medium shrub and a low ground cover of edibles working together 

One of my favorite professors Clare Cooper Markus came to the tour, I was very happy to see her there

 The farm cat "Big brother" disappeared for most off the day but finally showed up to play for the last tour with a lot less people

Thank you so much to everybody who came out to visit the Algarden, it was wonderful to see you.
I also want to send a big thank you to Ruby "Sparky bee grirl" from the Institute of Urban Homesteading for organizing this farm tour and inviting us to participate

Huge thanks to Jane "the owner" who kindly allows us to use her property, do this work and who also did a fantastic job welcoming the visitors. Thanks for volunteering Jane!

 And my most sincere deep gratitude to my friend and mentor Giancarlo Muscardini "farmer in chief" for all that he has taught me and for being an amazing partner in this urban farming adventure.

Next Saturday we are celebrating 4 years at the Algarden and teaching a Permaculture crash course, don't miss it! You can sign up here

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