This morning was our field trip to visit Full Circle Farm, the educational farm in the Santa Clara Unified School District in Sunnyvale.
The volunteer Garden Manager, Melissa, introduced us to the garden and showed the kids the large worm box that supplies part of the nutrients needed by the vegetables growing on the farm.
The farm hopes to soon be able to make all of it’s own compost and to use that as the only soil additives for the produce grown on Full Circle Farm. Part of our group helped turn compost piles that will contribute to this process.
Other members of our class sifted garden soil to make it into potting soil for new plants that are beginning life in the Full Cirlce Farm greenhouse. We need to make some screens like the ones they use at the farm for the Dirt to Dinner garden. They are wonderful for sifting compost and getting the lumpy “uncooked” bits back into the pile for some further decomposing. I’ll check our books for a sample design and take it with me to the hardware store this week.
Our class planted some small fingerling potatoes on the farm this week. They weren’t cut and developing big ‘eyes’ like the ones we started two weeks ago in the Dirt to Dinner garden, these were very small and planted whole in the soil. Melissa gave us some of these “seed” potatoes so the kids could start their own potato patches at home or in the Dirt to Dinner garden. There are also extra Yukon Gold and Purple potato “seeds” here in case they want to try several varieties and compare the plants and their growth, production or taste.
It was fun to see what you can do with a garden that covers over half an acre. By comparision, the whole lot that holds the Dirt to Dinner garden is about 1/8th of an acre. The size of the garden beds we currently have under cultivation is ~300 square feet. Because we are using raised beds and biointensive planting and growing techniques along with vertical supports, we can grow a lot more in a small space than if we did that same space in traditional rows the way much of the Full Circle Farm produce is planted, but it was still great to see what’s possible when you really have the room to spread out. I can dream, can’t I?