We are loving our new Fairytale Farm! We sold both our properties last December and moved a mile away in Santa Cruz. Although it was hard to leave 30 fruit trees and 16 years of memories – and the home my children grew up in, the new property is so beautiful, and our wonderful neighbors are making us feel at home. Many of them have lived on this block for 30 to 50 years, and our house was built in 1883. We are slowly growing a garden back around us, and we feel like we live in a fairytale house.
The new garden is in the front yard, so we are slowly turning our lawn into garden beds. We grew the best tomatoes we’ve ever tasted this summer, as well as lettuces, marigolds, peppers, and beans. People walking by often stop me and compliment me on my garden. I tried to add a few flowers, but the marigolds and zinnias took over, so we have more flowers than vegetables this year.
This was our first vegetable bed; the kale patch. Here it is 6 months later:
What: Come join us for our final party at Fairytale Farm! We have created a giant labyrinth to celebrate the ending of this beautiful farm, and new beginnings. We invite the public to come and walk the labyrinth, and also join us for a potluck from 5 to 8 pm, then stay for music, fun, and dancing! We will light up the labyrinth at night, and children are welcome. We will have 2018 Planting calendars, Recipe books, and garden goods for sale. We’re giving away free seeds! Come join us for our last gathering in this location. Invite your friends!
Fairytale Farm needs help with moving and legal expenses! We also need extra hands to gather seeds, dig up perennial plants, and prepare large trees for moving. Please go to our gofundme site for gifts and prizes! We can’t wait to see you on the other side!
Big changes are coming for Fairytale Farm! We are selling our home and moving Fairytale Farm to a new, secret location in Santa Cruz. We need TONS of help getting our house ready for sale, potting up big trees and vines, painting, harvesting, and packing. We are having work parties every Saturday and Sunday for the next 4 weekends. If you are not free on the weekends, contact us directly & we’ll take all the help we can get. We’ll provide the drinks and BBQ, you come in clothes to get dirty. 10 am to 5 pm, please drop by and roll up your sleeves and help Fairytale Farm!
Watch the Fairytale Farm page for more upcoming news on how you can help us move the farm, even from your couch at home, and reap the benefits of a new and better urban homestead in the coming year.
On Sunday, May 21st we are hosting an open farm tour and benefit party for Fairytale Farm! Come between 10 am to 2 pm to tour the farm. We will have free seeds to give away, and have informational books for sale, as well as other goodies. We will also have a table that explains our legal battle on Fairytale Farm. Come enjoy yourself, see how our farm is growing, and get inspired for your own backyard.
Fairytale Farm is at 728 Riverside Ave. Come down the driveway to our yard and experience the magic!
The snapdragons are in their second bloom. Sweet peas are about to open. The bees are happy. It’s spring in full glory at Fairytale Farm!
We had a training workshop today at the Riverside Gardens Park Public Fruit Tree Orchard with Andy Moskowitz of Seedculture.organd Steve Schnaar from the Fruit Tree Project. The pear and apple trees are growing nicely. Andy trained a few trees with string and stakes in the ground. Others branches were propped wider with wood splints. We want air flow, light, and enough space between limbs.
The grapes that we planted around the arbor are looking good.
And the community garden beds are blooming and growing vegetables! There are scarlett runner beans, corn, squash, basil, peas, flowers, tomatoes, peppers, and marigolds. Beautiful!
The pollinators are happy. The neighborhood bees (I wonder if they are from my hive?) are already enjoying this orange torch tithonia. Scarlett runner beans grow up corn. I love how the gardeners are planting so many flowers with their vegetables, especially my favorite; sweet peas, marigolds and snapdragons!
The blueberries I planted several years ago are doing pretty good, considering they are not getting quite the water they need…I come by every few months and give them acid based fertilizer.
Here are two varieties of apples and pears we planted in the orchard.
We are breaking ground on the expansion of the orchard next to Mike Fox Skate Park this winter. Stay tuned!
To read more about Riverside Gardens Park and our Public Fruit Tree Orchard, here are a few articles about our first year. Just imagine this orchard in a decade…there will be so much fruit for all!
Where: 728 and 232 Riverside Ave; a few houses from Broadway
When: 10 AM to 2 PM – Saturday, September 24th
On Saturday, September 24th we are hosting a Fairytale Farm tour of our garden! Come visit our chickens and bees, see our 30 fruit trees and other vegetables growing. Learn what we’ve been sowing here at the farm, and come check out our interns’ work. We’ve been teaching UCSC interns how to farm for 2 years now, and they have tended to the garden, learned how to farm and process foods, and created a Fairytale Farm logo, planting calendar, recipe book with perennial herbs, t-shirts and prints. Everyone is invited, and this is a family friendly event. Stroll down to Riverside Gardens Park, and come see the community garden beds and Santa Cruz’ first public fruit orchard!
We’re saving the Beach Flats Garden corn and have 10 foot tall beautiful corn waiting to dry into tortillas.We have a new kitten on the farm, and our 6 chickens are happily eating Cafe DelMarette compost every week. Come join us!
On Sunday, February 15th, 2015 the public was invited to come plant the first public fruit orchard in Santa Cruz! Located at Riverside Gardens Park (between San Lorenzo Blvd and Riverside Ave), the orchard was proposed by the Fruit Tree Project and is being organized with David Shaw from UCSC’s Common Ground Center with input from William Rubel and support from the neighborhood. The three year plan includes year one: pears and apples on either side of the compost bins, kept small and flat against the fence so the walkway is intact. We also planted 4 grapes along the arbor. In late 2016, we will be planting a much larger public orchard next to Mike Fox Skate Park. Stay tuned for several public soil improving sessions, starting after the first rains.
We worked with the city to install a drip watering line for the new orchard, and the trees will be maintained and pruned by the Fruit Tree Project and neighbors (like me!). The fruit itself will be free to the public. The blueberries in Riverside Gardens Park are the biggest and tastiest I have ever seen…
We are accepting donations for the trees themselves, and planted a historic pear that once stood in orchards on this land back in the days of the famous Riverside Hotel.
It’s a historic moment in Santa Cruz. Hopefully it will be just the beginning, and fruit orchards will soon be popping up all over the place, like the rail-to-trail line, or the river walk. Help plant a public orchard in your neighborhood!
Fairytale Farm is accepting UCSC interns every quarter to help out in the garden. If you are interested in working with us, go to the UCSC Internship Office and ask for a form to fill out for us to sign. You will also need to find a UCSC professor to sponsor you for the quarter. You can either take a 2 unit internship which requires 6 hours a week, or a 5 unit internship which requires 12 hours a week. We will work with you to come up with a project for the 5 hour internship which may involve independent hours researching and writing off of the farm. We usually have 2-5 interns a quarter, and are looking for not only agroecology majors, but artists, students into blogging and social media, photography, herbalism, and food production. We have students help design calendars, informational books, and lead garden tours for us. You can just come and plant and harvest vegetables and flowers, but you can come do a lot of other fun things too!