December 2018 Newsletter
Pacific Beach High School
Following October’s Fall Harvest Festival, a killing frost demolished what was left of warm-weather crops–corn, tomatos, cucumbers, beans, and peppers–just in time for Halloween.
Our Farm Class celebrated November first, El dia de los muertos (or All–saints day) gathering up the soggy remains and layering them in the compost heap. On top we strewed what was left of the marigolds planted at the ends of rows to repel harmful insects.
Some students recalled family memorials and others recognized the imagery from Coco, the recent Disney movie based on that holiday.
Later classes included starting a new cycle by drying and saving bean seeds for next spring
and planting winter crops: pea, carrot, broad bean and onion seeds from Botanical Interests donated by Sue Girard and brassica starts provided by Craig Adams of Greenheart farms.
Elementary School Field Trips
The seasonal transition also marked new program developments.
Under the leadership of Education coordinator, Teresa (Tree) Lees, City Farm SLO initiated a series of elementary school field trips which will continue and expand in the coming year.
For the pilot project, 28 first graders from C.L. Smith Elementary School, accompanied by their teacher, Kelly Hughes and parent volunteers hiked from the School through the Prefumo Creek Crossing into the Calle Joaquin Ag Reserve.
The day’s lesson began at Red Barn Farm with a tasty tour of tenant farmer Javier Maganas hoop house strawberry patch
illustrating the day’s lesson on plant parts—flowers, fruits, leaves, stems and roots–and their roles in food production.
The walking tour continued to the Pacific Beach HS student garden, where children pulled up, washed and munched on carrots and radishes,
and planted rows of snap peas and cauliflower.
The field trip concluded with a tour of Teresa’s Our Global Family Garden for a harvest of beautiful multicolored corn
and a u-pic opportunity in what remained of Tenant Farmer’s Corey Richmond’s pumpkin patch.
According to Kelly, the students’ verdict on this trip was: “best day ever.”
After this first visit, her class is planning 4 more field trips to City Farm in the coming months, their expenses covered by a grant she applied for from the Rotary Club of SLO.
Additional trips for first and fourth graders from Sinsheimer Elementary and for sixth graders at Hawthorne Elementary School are now scheduled for the new year.
Fall brings more turnover. Our Board of Directors says goodbye to Brian Engleton, who served for many years, managed the Pergola construction project and acted as our primary irrigation system expert. The Board welcomes Lauren Biggs as a new member.
City Farm also marks the turnover of the five-acre plot farmed during the last two years by Ruffino and family. Our new subtenant, Abimael Basurto of Basurto Family farms, managed to get in a winter crop of Fava Beans just before the rains began.
Second Saturday Work Party
December 8, 9:00-Noon
Come join us at 1221 Calle Joaquin, SLO (next to new BMW dealer)
Some jobs we’ll be doing:
Mow and reseed lawn
New garden border and permanent row number signs
Weed seedlings with hoe
Row cover installation
Replace food forest casualties
Erect owl boxes to help control gophers and ground squirrels
Come See the ongoing COB construction of a children’s playhouse taking place too