Registered volunteers will receive an email reminder and notification if rain cancels.
Minors must be accompanied by an adult. Only trained service animals are allowed on the farm.
Bloomin’ good news!
Costanoa Commons Farm is delighted to announce our new collaboration with the Monterey Bay Dahlia Society (MBDS). This spring, the MBDS will plant up a 100-foot row of dahlias at Costanoa Commons to begin a research bed, the initial step in creating the first California testing site for new varities of dahlia flowers. We are so excited! Dahlias are a beautiful and popular cut flower in market bouquets and are a welcome addition to our flower crop plan this year.
The research bed at the farm will allow the society to grow a wider variety of flowers. Club members will be working collaboratively with our staff and volunteers to grow and harvest flowers, half of which will go to our farm stand! It’s possible to harvest 100 stems a week from a bed this size!
Also, the society just presented a free workshop at the farm in collaboration with the UC Master Gardeners of Monterey Bay. Over 20 people came to Costanoa Commons to learn how to plant and grow dahlias. We now have both dahlia tubers and seedlings planted in our raised beds! Furthermore, the MBDS has generously offered to donate any tubers left from their annual tuber sale to us. The MBDS is a branch of the national American Dahlia Society and their web site is http://www.mbdahlias.org/.
The Dahlia Society focuses on training and sharing knowledge of dahlia growing. The group’s members include dahlia lovers and professional growers with a wide range of knowledge of all things dahlia. Growers must follow a rigorous procedure in order to have a new variety recognized by the American Dahlia Society. Kristine Albrecht, the president of MBDS, has a beautiful flower called KA’s Cloud, and their vice president owns Corralitos Gardens and has bred a number of new dahlias, too.
Thank you to Kristine, Iris, Gloria, and everyone at the Dahlia Society for making so many flowers available this summer at our farm. We can’t wait!
Not your usual spring break
With their final exams finished, a group of undergraduate and graduate students from Stanford University’s Catholic Community came to the farm last Saturday to kick off their spring break. As part of their immersion into various social justice topics, the students worked alongside young adults with developmental disabilities, learning about life after post-secondary education for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and helping out with many jobs around the farm.
After a full morning of farm chores, we all shared lunch together in the barn, taking a break to hear from Chris, our lead vegetable farmer, as he shared his story about battling homelessness, raising a young teen with autism, and what being at Costanoa Commons farm means to him. Carson spoke movingly about how he is learning a lot about farming as he works alongside Chris, and Heidi, one of the farm’s founders, talked about her experience parenting a young man with cerebral palsy and how she was inspired to create Costanoa Commons after participating in the visit of the Catholic Community at Stanford to L’Arche of Seattle and Tacoma nearly four years ago.
After lunch, our guests got back to work cutting down cover crop, filling trenches, leveling a wheelchair accessible aisle in the greenhouse, tending our strawberry plants, and inoculating oak logs with shiitake mushroom mycelia to start our mushroom production.
Our time in the field gave us all a chance to talk about farming methods and how Costanoa Commons farm, though small, can still apply valuable practices that build soil health and enhance biodiversity. The Stanford students and their staff leaders were wonderful guests and brought a spirit of fun, along with their strong desire to contribute to the farm’s development. They left the farm for an overnight camping trip along the coast and a morning paddle on Elkhorn Slough. We want to thank each of them for creating a fun and memorable experience for all!
The Human Race helps the farm
For the first time, Costanoa Commons is joining other community organizations in the 2018 Santa Cruz Human Race. To help the farm, you can contribute, you can raise funds from friends and family, and, of course, you can walk or run on May 12th.