The Woolman Farm is becoming more and more of an active “heart” of campus with our two main goals coming to fruition; growing a large of amount of the produce for all the people who live or visit here to enjoy, and becoming an educational center. We are also making some headway on a third goal of generating income from produce, herbs and seeds that we don’t have immediate use for on campus.
We now have a full acre of land cultivated with vegetables. Last fall, for the first time we produced 98% of all the produce used for the fall semester and grew enough carrots and beets to store some for the winter. Now our challenge is to grow enough for the spring semester. To that end, we just received a grant for a 30x80 hoop house where we will cultivate fall, winter and spring vegetables to extend our growing season.
On the education side, we have had lots of activity lately. During the school year, we had classes for both the Woolman students and for the community interns. In addition we had a Waldorf home study group in the garden 2 days a week. We also partnered with Yuba River Charter to host farm field trips for their 1st-8th grade classes throughout the year. This summer we have had both Sierra Friends and teen campers join us for activities and look forward to more of that in the coming years. This fall we will be the farm partner for a local school through a collaboration with Live Healthy Nevada County.
In terms of income generation, we are just entering our second year of our Woolman Farm CSA. It has been a fun challenge to come up with diverse delicious boxes of produce each week for our members. This year we also sold a small amount of our saved seed to a local seed cooperative and sold our first dried herbs to another local business.
With our garden fully planted now, including our new edible forest garden, we are looking forward to doing each element of our production and education even better this coming year, from our biodynamic compost, to seed saving, to hoop house production and garden classes.
As always, the garden is in need of a few crucial tools! Here’s what’s at the top of our Garden Wish List: Eye hoe, manure pitch fork (2), kids gloves (15 pair), sturdy trowels (15), a broad fork, Spear & Jackson digging fork (spade), solar energizer for the electric chicken fence, Glaser wheel hoe, Compostex 72x12ft, overhead sprinkler system