LIVING THE FAIRYTALE ON THE FARM
In 2007, we bought the property next door to us as a tenancy-in-common with a couple we had never met and their young daughter. Little did we know we’d be embarking on a life experience that would bloom into Fairytale Farm. The two properties have become our little urban farm tucked away a few blocks from downtown Santa Cruz.
- The first year: weeds are slowly being replaced with peas.
With the purchase of this property, our family became proud stewards of a very fertile piece of river soil. We promptly planted fruit trees, vegetables, and flowers, and by the summer, we wanted to share what we had learned from this beautiful space to the community. So Fairytale Farm was born, and we began hosting pop-up dinners featuring dishes from the garden. Pop-up cafes, classes on gardening, food preservation, fermenting, and drying began. We bought chicks, we put an empty beehive against the fence. A wild swarm moved in, we harvested honey. The chicks grew up, we had eggs to eat, and all was content at Fairytale Farm.
The garden two years later.
Our goal now is to be as self-sufficient as possible. We have solar on our house, laundry-to-landscape lines, and an extensive rainwater collection system. We started working with UCSC interns in the fall of 2014 to help expand the production of the garden. We are starting a neighborhood fruit tree project in 2015, where neighbors on the block will plant a different fruit tree with the intention of sharing with one another in the future. We imagine a future where this neighborhood is abundant with overflowing fruit and nut trees.
Sometimes we still host dinners in the garden, sometimes we open the gates for Edible Garden Tours, sometimes we host small private musical concerts, Open Studios, or we can be found here simply hanging out.
What better place to grow up than a bean fort?
Most of all, we live, work, and eat in the garden. Though property is not affordable in Santa Cruz, and we had to buy this garden during the peak of housing prices,(so we’ll be paying it off for many years to come), I like to think it is worth it. Preserving a little slice of heaven in the middle of the suburban jungle feels necessary.
Spring year 3.
I like to inspire people that they too can grow their dream. I hope you come visit our little Fairytale Farm.
- Farm fresh eggs for breakfast are delicious!