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SLO City Farm Blog April 24 2015

April 23 marked the end of the sixth marking period at the City Farm School Project.  Students harvested, prepared and feasted on winter crops of artichokes, fava beans, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and lettuce, planted in earlier sessions and cooked in our field kitchen.

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Fava beans sauteed over the camp stove and added to chives, cabbage, cheese and hot sauce in a tortilla provided enough protein, texture and flavor to substitute for meat and left several people hungry for more.

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Spring planting continued both in the circular garden and the long rows of the developing school farm.  Starts germinated from seed in our donated greenhouse space matured enough to be transplanted in the ground, despite the punishing winds of late April.

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Bush beans seeded directly in the ground earlier in the session popped up and received careful cultivation.

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As did contributed tomato starts.

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Cal Poly Compost donated two pickup truckloads of high grade organic fertilizer.

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At 7:20 one Wednesday morning, Greenvale Tree Company delivered a mountain of free oak and pine woodchips.

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When one of the arborists heard that this was a Pacific Beach High School project, he said, “Hey, I went there!”

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Next day the chips were distributed quickly by the whole class, making the pathways between plantings clearly defined and weed-free.

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Among other crops, those plantings included four hills of “Three Sisters” at the garden’s center, following the ancient North American Native people’s practice of planting corn first, then beans to climb the cornstalks and enrich the soil, and finally squash to mulch the ground with their large leaves.

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Work also continued on planting and harvest of the commercial-scale crops on the half-acre CCG farm plot, where 150 heads of lettuce started at the beginning of the session were cut and packed for another delivery to the Salvation Army.

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The last day of the session concluded with a special treat.  Our tenant farmers, Green Gold Organics, have been harvesting premium strawberries for sale at Whole Foods.

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Farmer Matt Bowling brought by three clamshells full of them, and our  pastry chefs worked up some memorable desserts

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heartily enjoyed by all.

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This eventful period concluded with a lease agreement for five acres of City Farm to be rented by Javier Magana of Arroyo Grande.

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We are thrilled with the prospect of partnering with this new neighbor.

Steven Marx