Archive by Author | debbie

Fairytale Farm is Moving!

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.

Benefit Party for Fairytale Farm

Help Fairytale Farm!

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!

 

Riverside Gardens Park Orchard Year 2

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We had a training workshop today at the Riverside Gardens Park Public Fruit Tree Orchard with Andy Moskowitz of Seedculture.org and 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.

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The grapes that we planted around the arbor are looking good.

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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!

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pollinators

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!

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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.

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Here are two varieties of apples and pears we planted in the orchard.

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We are breaking ground on the expansion of the orchard next to Mike Fox Skate Park this winter. Stay tuned!
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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!

Fairytale Farm Garden Tour – Saturday, September 24th

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What:  Fairytale Farm Tour

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!

14242376_1087439977958971_1523098282473307377_oWe’re saving the Beach Flats Garden corn and have 10 foot tall beautiful corn waiting to dry into tortillas.14188349_1300543846623516_8519333576088364385_oWe have a new kitten on the farm, and our 6 chickens are happily eating Cafe DelMarette compost every week. Come join us!

Summer 2016

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The poppies are blooming in the front yard.  Walk by and admire them while you are in the neighborhood!  Once the poppie heads are dry, I’ll save the seeds for next year.  Beautiful!

Internships

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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!

 

Solar Eclipse Dinner

When the rose bush is in full splendor…

You set up two tables in the garden.

When the guests arrive, serve salads with nasturtium blossoms.

Play with your shadows when it’s a full solar eclipse.

A simple dinner becomes divine.

Mustard, kale greens,and carmelized onions with nasturtium and borage blossoms

We ate the mustard greens that grew all around us.

Even the chickens had a good time.

As sweet peas and roses scented the air.

When all the plate are cleared away, there may still be leftovers for the lucky hens…

 

2012 February’s Garden

There is a lot growing in the winter garden, despite my not planting most of it.  The giant red mustard has self-seeded everywhere! And it is giant. We found if you just dunk it in boiling water for a minute or two, then plunge it in an ice bath, it’s glowing green and loses its mustard pungency.  I’ve got baby mache growing in between the mustards, another prolific self-seeder, but with a mild flavor.

Giant red mustard in the sunlight.

Aren't they just so purple and georgious?

My current favorite beauties are the purple peas.  Their fuscia and lavendar flowers are as lovely as sweet peas, but edible.  The peas themselves are too fibrous as snow peas, but if you wait until they are plump, there are tasty (but disappointingly, green) peas inside. I also have yellow peas growing. Green peas are boring!

Purple pea blossoms.

Last week’s project was to separate the strawberries and move them to the borders of the garden. First, I decided to create a “strawberry spiral”.  I planted tall yellow lupine, 3 different poppies, and some dahlias.  If they all grow to their reported 4 feet, you will be invisible as you sit on the wooly thyme in the center of the circle. 

I built this for the little children. I thought they'd enjoy walking in a spiral, snacking on strawberries along the way.

And then it became time to prune the grapevine.  Note we skipped pruning it last year, due to sickness and neglect.  Which meant that there was an amazing amount of grape wood that is now littering half the yard.

Grapevines, grapevines, everywhere!

We turned most of the vines into wreaths.

Since I now have over 40 grapevine wreaths, I’ve been experimenting with adding flowering branches, such as quince blossoms.

Isn't the quince bush so pretty?

So I cut some quince branches… and tucked them into the grapevines…and the result is lovely!  Doesn’t last long, though.

A grapevine, twisted into a wreath shape, with some flowering quince cuttings....

 

I just twisted the grape vines around and around until I had enough bulk to make a wreath. Then, you need clippers and  a few flowering spring branches.  I tucked these in one at a time, using no twine or wire, the grape vines held them into place.

 

 

I think the wreath could use even more quince branches, but I was being stingy.  I especially like the pink blossoms against my pink livingroom walls.  Nice!

I also planted 4 new trees : a chocolate persimmon, a black mulberry tree, another cherry, a wolfberry bush (goji berry).  I’ve never tasted a fresh goji berry…I hope it’s good!  And I added a few more yellow raspberries, 4 “pink lemonade” blueberries – yes, they’re pink!  Now I just have to wait several years to see if the varieties are tasty enough to keep.

Grow, garden, grow!

We’re starting up Fairy-Tale Farm events in May, so stay tuned! The greenhouse is packed right now with tomato seedlings, peppers, sweet peas and edible peas galore, and other herbs and vegetables.  Now if everything escapes the wrath of gophers, birds, the one chicken who flies out everyday, and assorted insects, then in a few months, the garden will look like paradise!   Come back and see…

Oh, the possibilities!