Costanoa Commons logo with the tagline, "We grow for life."
Costanoa Commons
February 2018
Carson Dye, budding farmer
Carson working in the garden.
Carson watering plants. in the greenhouse.
by Heidi Cartan

“I’ve always wanted to be a farmer,” Carson Dye told me with much enthusiasm the first time we met. He talked about how he had experience raising chickens and wanted to learn more about plants and growing food.

Carson has volunteered at Costanoa Commons Farm for a few months now, and he had this to say about why he likes to be on the farm, “When I am farming, I am always learning something new.” He told me some of his ancestors were farmers and that he’s interested in farming as a career because “farming is something you can take with you and do anywhere you go.”

Carson has been helping out with various projects on the weekends when he isn’t in school at Cabrillo in the post-secondary program. He’s been eager to learn the whys and hows of bed preparation and crop production. Though he tells me he doesn’t have a favorite vegetable, he does really like avocados! Thankfully, we had an avocado tree donated recently and Carson can help plant it soon. Carson is also learning how to properly water and care for seedlings and young plants in the greenhouse.

As Costanoa Commons farm puts the finishing touches on an internship curriculum to train aspiring farmers like Carson, we’ve really enjoyed his upbeat attitude and great work ethic. Thanks, Carson!
Singing Frogs visit farm
Paul Kaiser of Singing Frogs Farm meets with volunteers on the farm.
One of the earliest decisions Costanoa Commons Farm has had to make is settling on a farming method. Why? Because how we farm has everything to do with how well we produce healthy products and steward our land.

A team of our farm volunteers attended Eco Farm, the annual conference of the Ecological Farming Association, and came back inspired to learn more about no-till methods for growing food and flowers. We were delighted when Paul Kaiser of Singing Frogs Farm in Sebastopol, CA, agreed to meet with us to help us learn more about his farm’s innovative, no-till soil management system of intensive vegetable production.

Paul and his wife, Elizabeth, are very successful small farmers working with nature to grow nutrient dense food crops. What did we learn?

  • Disturb the soil as little as possible.
  • Keep a diversity of living plants in the ground as much as possible.
  • Keep the soil covered and protected as much as possible.
Our mission is to create a farm where people with disabilities and others grow healthy food and build community. Opening ecological farming opportunities to people with developmental disabilities fits well, we think, with a no-till approach and we are going to give it a try. Thanks Singing Frogs Farm for teaching us how to leave our soil better than we found it—another way we grow for life!
Save the date: April 14
Hand tools waiting for volunteers.
To all of our friends and wonderful volunteers—

Please plan to join us for our Spring Work Day on Saturday, April 14th, from 9:00 a.m. until noon followed by lunch.

You can help us:

  • Build an enclosure for chickens and goats.
  • Plant flower and vegetable seedlings.
  • Place weed mat between beds.
  • Build a compost area.
  • Weed beds.
Look for details in your email.
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